By Logic Lukwanda
Zambia recorded an increase in copper production in 2020 with eight of the ten large scale mining companies recording an increase despite the covid19 outbreak.
And Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa who announced the development at a media briefing this morning said the mining sector performed better than anticipated as copper production increased to over 882,000.00 tonnes in 2020 compared to over 796,400.00 tonnes recorded in 2019 representing an increase of 9.71 percent.
He said copper production by large scale mines increased to over 868,000.00 in 2020 compared to a production of over 787,600.00 in 2019 representing an increase of 9.32 percent while copper production by small scale mines increased to 13,391 tonnes in 2020 from 8,732 tonnes recorded in 2019 representing an increase of 34.8 percent.
The minister attributed the increase in copper production by large scale mines mainly to the increase in production by Kalumbila minerals and Kansanshi mine plc while the increase in copper production by small scale mines was due to increased processing capacities by small scale mines in 2020 as compared to 2019 as well as the stabilized power supply to plants.
Meanwhile the production of, manganese, coal and nickel increased while that of gold, gemstones and cobalt reduced.
And the mines minister has projected to produce a total of 900,000 tonnes of copper in 2021 and that this should be boosted by the commodity prices increase on the international market which will encourage the mining companies to further increase their production.