Zambia recorded an increase in Copper production in 2020 with eight of the Large Scale mining companies recording an increase production.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lusaka this morning, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Hon. Richard Musukwa disclosed that the sector performed better than anticipated as copper production increased to 888,061.46 tonnes in 2020 compared to 796,430.77 tonnes recorded in 2019 representing an increase of 9.71 percent.
Hon. Musukwa explained that copper production by Large Scale Mines increased to 868,670.46 in 2020 compared to a production of 787,698.77 in 2019 representing an increase of 9.32 percent.
He further said that 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 said the increase in Copper production by Large Scale Mines is mainly attributed to increase in production by Kalumbila Minerals and Kansanshi Mines PLC while the increase in Copper production by Small Scale Mines was due to increased processing capacities by Smale Scale Mines in 2020 as compared to 2019 as well as stabilized power supply to plants.
And Hon. Musukwa who is also Chililabombwe Member of Parliament disclosed that there was a significant increase in the production of Coal from 361,647 tonnes in 2019 to 448,821.40 tonnes in 2020. The increase in production was due to the rise in demand for Coal for power generation.
Meanwhile, Gold production reduced to 3,578.81 Kg in 2020 as compared to 3,912.753 Kg during the same period in 2019.
Hon. Musukwa stated that the reduction in Gold production was due to reduced grades of Gold in ores mined at Kansanshi.
The Minister further stated that the new developments in the Gold sector saw the participation of a new entrant in the market, Zambia Gold Company Limited which was tasked to purchase Gold from Artisanal and Small Scale Miners for the purpose of building the country’s Gold reserves at Bank of Zambia.
“I am glad to inform members of the press that Zambia Gold Company Limited was able to produce a total of 93.66 Kg of Gold in 2020 from its mining operations at Kasenseli and was able to sell a total of 47.9 Kg of Gold to Bank of Zambia on 31st December 2020,” Hon. Musukwa said.
He explained that this is in an effort to build the country’s Gold reserves.
“Please note that Gold production by Zambia Gold Company Limited commenced in May 2020. I wish to commend the company for a job well done and we expect production to continue increasing as the company ramps up,” he said.
And Hon. Musukwa disclosed that in the area of value addition, a total of three companies namely Neelkanth Cables, ZAMEFA and ZALCO were adding value to Copper cathodes and produced various sizes of Copper cables which were consumed locally and exported to other countries.
“In addition, several medium to small scale companies were producing jewelry from Gemstones.”
“These include JAGODA Gem, Jewel of Africa, South Stream Enterprise Limited and Zambia Gemstone Miners and Traders Marketing Association,” Hon. Musukwa stated.
Meanwhile, the Minister has said that the prospect for the mining sector looks positive despite the COVID-19 pandemic as long as all the given health guidelines are adhered to.
And Hon. Musukwa disclosed that Zambia has projected to produce a total of 900,000 tonnes of Copper in 2021.
He added that commodity prices on the international market have started making positive gains which will encourage the mining companies to further increase their production.