Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Zambia’s Copper Production Set to End in Deficit for 2022, Despite Positive Outlook for 2023


Zambia’s copper production for 2022 is set to end in deficit, with data from the Zambia Chamber of Mines showing a significant reduction in output at the end of November 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. The data reveals that the country produced a total of 694,250 tons of copper at the end of November 2022, compared to a total of 726,891 in 2021, representing a 4.49% reduction in overall copper output for the period under review. This follows a 4.5% drop in production for the full year of 2021, bringing total output to 800,696 tons.

To reach the 2021 production figures, over 73,800 tons of copper would need to be produced in December 2022, while the average monthly production over the past 11 months has been just 66,000 tons. The Chamber of Mines has attributed the continued decline in copper production to the difficult operating circumstances and business challenges facing the industry.

Despite the bleak outlook for 2022, the Chamber of Mines has stated that the country’s copper production outlook for 2023 is dependent on Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines being brought back to full operational capacity, even in the face of an impending global economic recession. Sokwani Chilembo, CEO of the Chamber of Mines, commented on the situation, saying: “While it is projected that a third of the globe will face economic recession in 2023, Zambia’s mining sector is still enjoying a strong price outlook for copper. However, sustainability is contingent on how quickly the country resolves the business distress on the Copperbelt.”

Chilembo added that it is difficult to forecast how the year will turn out for Zambia’s copper mining while there are still challenges with the country’s copper production and assets such as KCM and Mopani in distress. However, he did highlight the impending opening of a new $100 million nickel mine by First Quantum Minerals in the first half of 2023, which he said would help to boost the country’s revenue and put the industry in a better position than it is currently.


  1. Hey there Mr Santa tell us something new…we’ve heard that song before. Now they want to use recession as a disguise to further loot the mines whilst making us think that we can’t produce more fast enough. We are watching, anso the young voters will be fully baked at the next general elections.

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