AN international mining policy expert has said Zambia’s mining outlook is bright and that the country is poised to raise copper production from the current 700,000 tonnes to more than 800,000 in the next two years.
Investec global head – natural resources London – Jeremy Wrathall said in London that the positive outlook was due to the new copper projects.
He said this in his opening speech at the Zambia Mining Investment Forum.
Mr Wrathall said that the future of mining in Africa’s second largest copper producer was bright.
“Copper production will increase to over 800,000 from the current average annual production of 700,000 because both mining investors and Government have developed a beneficial relationship and new mining projects like Kalumbila mining project by the First Quantum which will soon reach full production,” Mr Wrathall said.
He urged mining investors and Governments across Africa to spend the proceeds from copper wisely to prepare themselves for future financial shocks that might be caused by low copper prices.
This will create a conducive environment where both the investors and owners of the resources obtain a fair return from the exploitation of minerals.
Meanwhile, the Zambian Government has urged mining investors operating in the country to be transparent beyond the provision of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to provide a conducive environment.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma said accountability and transparency were important for maintaining a conducive investment environment.
He said this in his key note speech at the Zambia Mining Investment Forum in London on Monday.
Mr Yaluma said the Government was transparent beyond EITI provisions, hence the need for mining houses to become the same.
“As Government we want this transparency and accountability to apply at all levels in the mining value chain. Mining houses need to be more transparent beyond the provisions of EITI for them to contribute towards maintaining a conducive environment for the sector to thrive,” Mr Yaluma told mining investors.
The forum was organised by the Mining Report sponsored by ZCCM – Investment Holding (IH), First Quantum Minerals and Gemfields, among others, to woo mining investors and showcase the country’s mineral potential.
The forum attracted key speakers from various sectors, largely mining and related industries who gave talks on how to sustain mining operations.