Zambia’s copper production is expected to inch lower to 753 992 tones this year from 774 290 tones in 2016 mainly due to lower output from Konkola Copper Mines.
Ministry of Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda told reporters that production at Konkola Copper Mines is expected to decline by 40% this year.
Mr Chanda added that production at Konkola Copper Mine will fall by 40% while output at Lumwana Mine, owned by Barrick Gold, should decline by 15%.
“Konkola Copper Mines appear to be more experienced in processing than mining and as for Lumwana it is because of declining ore grades,” Mr. Chanda said.
The government had said in June that copper production was expected to rise to 850 000 t in 2017 owing to expansion at existing mines and ongoing greenfield projects.
The Zambia Chamber of Mines, an industry body, said output would depend on power supply, infrastructure and stability of the fiscal and regulatory regime.
“Resolution of the pricing and provision of power remain paramount to the immediate future of mining in Zambia,” Chamber of Mines President Nathan Chishimba said.