Seven foreign companies eye Mopani partnership

 Seven foreign companies eye Mopani partnership

Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has disclosed that over seven foreign companies have expressed interest to be equity partners in Mopani Copper Mine.

Mr Musukwa also encouraged Zambian Companies to take advantage of the opportunity to be equity partners in the mine alongside ZCCM-IH.

The Minister also said security agencies are on the ground to prevent assets striping at Mopani Copper Mine.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Mines says copper production in 2021 is expected to increase from 882,000 tonnes recorded in 2020 to 900,000 tonnes.

Mr Musukwa says the increase in copper production is largely attributed to increased production at Kalumbila minerals and Kansanshi mines in North Western Province and other large-scale mines.

The minister said this during a media briefing in Lusaka today.

Mr Musukwa said the country has also recorded an increase in the production of coal from 362 thousand tonnes in 2019 to 449,000 tonnes in 2020.

The minister explained that this is due to the rise in demand for coal for power generation.

Mr Musukwa also disclosed that the country has seen a reduction in the production of gold from 3900 kg produced in 2019 to 3600 kg in 2020.

He said the reduction in gold production is due to reduced grades of gold ores mined at Kansanshi.

He also disclosed that the country also recorded an increase in production of nickel and manganese.

Mr Musukwa however said with the entrant of Zambia Gold company limited , the company was able to produce 93.66 kg of gold from its mine in Kasenseli of which 48 kg of gold was sold to Bank of Zambia in an effort to build the country’s gold reserves

He also disclosed that the gemstones production also declined in 2020 which stood at 39 thousand 783.48 kg to 237,004.61 kg in 2019 which he further explained that this was due to the suspension of operations at both Kagem mining limited and Gemcanton mining services due to covid-19.

The Minister further said that the country also recorded a reduction in cobalt and cement production.

He said reduced production in cobalt is due to the reduced cobalt mineralization and operational challenges experienced at Konkola Copper Mine while the reduced cement production is due to the implementation of covid-19 measures.

And Mr Musukwa said the country has three companies that are adding value to coper cathodes and producing various sizes of copper cables which are been consumed locally and exported to other countries.

He also said several companies are also producing jewelry from gemstones.

The Independent Observer

John Sakala is a Journalist yearning for independent journalism