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PRESS STATEMENT BY HON. RICHARD MUSUKWA, MP – MINISTER OF MINES AND MINERALS DEVELOPMENT ON MINERAL PRODUCTION FOR THE YEAR 2020

  • THE PERMANENT SECRETARY IN THE MINISTRY OF MINES AND MINERALS DEVELOPMENT, MR. BARNABY MULENGA
  • DIRECTORS PRESENT
  • DISTINGUISHED MEMBERS OF THE PRESS
  • LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

I WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME YOU ALL AND WISH TO THANK YOU FOR TAKING TIME AWAY FROM YOUR BUSY SCHEDULES TO ATTEND THIS IMPORTANT BRIEFING ON THE PERFORMANCE OF THE MINING SECTOR.

AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, THE MINING SECTOR LIKE ANY OTHER SECTOR WAS NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN 2020 WHICH SAW MOST COUNTRIES INSTITUTING PARTIAL OR COMPLETE LOCKDOWNS AND RESTRICTIONS ON BOTH LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL.

IN RESPONDING TO COVID -19 PANDEMIC IMPACT, GOVERNMENT IMPLEMENTED THE FOLLOWING MEASURES TO CUSHION THE IMPACT OF THE PANDEMIC IN THE SECTOR:

  1. SUSPENSION OF SI 90 RELATING TO VAT ON IMPORTED PARTS WITH A FOCUS ON THE MINING SECTOR RESULTING IN IMPROVED CASH FLOWS TO MINING COMPANIES;
  2. SUSPENSION OF EXPORT DUTY ON PRECIOUS METALS AND GEMSTONES AS A MEANS OF MAKING THE COMMODITY MORE COMPETITIVE;
  3. SUSPENSION OF 5% IMPORT DUTY ON COPPER CONCENTRATES RESULTING IN AN ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE TO MINES AND FURTHER STIMULATING LOCAL ORE PRODUCTION;
  4. FACILITATION OF IMPORTATION OF CRITICAL INPUTS INTO MINING THROUGH MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, TRADE AND INDUSTRY; AND
  5. REMOVAL OF DUTY ON COVID-19 MATERIALS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE FAVOURABLE POLICIES AND INTERVENTIONS IMPLEMENTED BY GOVERNMENT COUPLED WITH EXPANSION PROJECTS AND RAMPING UP OF OPERATIONS LED TO AN INCREASE IN COPPER PRODUCTION BY BOTH LARGE SCALE AND SMALL SCALE MINING COMPANIES EXCEPT FOR LUBAMBE AND CHIBULUMA THAT RECORDED A DECREASE IN PRODUCTION. THE DECREASE IN PRODUCTION AT CHIBULUMA WAS DUE TO SUSPENSION OF OPERATIONS WHILE LUBAMBE MINE EXPERIENCED OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

AS EARLIER ALLUDED TO, THE COUNTRY RECORDED AN INCREASE IN COPPER PRODUCTION IN 2020 WITH EIGHT OF THE TEN LARGE SCALE MINING COMPANIES RECORDING AN INCREASE IN COPPER PRODUCTION. THE SECTOR PERFORMED BETTER THAN ANTICIPATED AS COPPER PRODUCTION INCREASED TO 882,061.46 TONNES IN 2020 COMPARED TO 796,430.77 TONNES RECORDED IN 2019 REPRESENTING AN INCREASE OF 9.71 PERCENT. 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. EQUALLY, 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 INCREASE IN COPPER PRODUCTION BY LARGE SCALE MINES IS MAINLY ATTRIBUTED TO THE INCREASE IN PRODUCTION BY KALUMBILA MINERALS AND KASANSHI MINE PLC WHILE THE INCREASE IN COPPER PRODUCTION BY SMALL SCALE MINES WAS DUE TO INCREASED PROCESSING CAPACITIES BY SMALL SCALE MINES IN 2020 AS COMPARED TO 2019 AS WELL AS THE STABILIZED POWER SUPPLY TO PLANTS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE PRODUCTION OF COAL FROM 361,647.80 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.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

GOLD PRODUCTION REDUCED TO 3,578.81 KG IN 2020 AS COMPARED TO 3,912.753 KG PRODUCED DURING THE SAME PERIOD IN 2019. THE REDUCTION IN GOLD PRODUCTION IS DUE TO REDUCED GRADES OF GOLD IN ORES MINED AT KANSANSHI. THE NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GOLD SUBSECTOR 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 OPERATION AT KASENSELI AND WAS  ABLE TO SELL A TOTAL OF 47.9 KG OF GOLD TO BANK OF ZAMBIA ON 31ST DECEMBER, 2020. 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.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

WITH REGARD TO GEMSTONES PRODUCTION, THE SECTOR REPORTED A DECLINE IN THE PRODUCTION OF GEMSTONES IN 2020 WHICH STOOD AT 9,783.43KG COMPARED TO 23,704.61 KG IN 2019. THIS REDUCTION WAS DUE TO THE SUSPENSION OF OPERATIONS AT BOTH KAGEM MINING LIMITED AND GEMCANTON MINING SERVICES LTD DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

  • A TOTAL OF (04) FOUR GEMSTONE AUCTIONS WERE HELD DURING THE PERIOD UNDER REVIEW BY KAGEM AND GEMCANTON GENERATING A REVENUE OF USD 52.76 MILLION AS COMPARED TO SEVEN (07) AUCTIONS CONDUCTED IN 2019 WHICH GENERATED A TOTAL REVENUE OF USD 125.5 THE REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF AUCTIONS HELD WAS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WHICH HAD RESTRICTIONS ON MOVEMENTS BY MOST COUNTRIES.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE COUNTRY RECORDED A REDUCTION IN COBALT PRODUCTION IN 2020 WHICH STOOD AT 287.19 TONNES COMPARED TO THE PRODUCTION OF 367.281 TONNES IN 2019 REPRESENTING A REDUCTION OF 27.9 PERCENT. THE LOW PERFORMANCE IN THE COBALT SUBSECTOR WAS DUE TO THE REDUCED COBALT MINERALIZATION AND OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES EXPERIENCED AT KONKOLA COPPER MINE.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

PRODUCTION OF NICKEL INCREASED TO 5,712.03 TONNES IN 2020 FROM 2,499.66 RECORDED IN 2019 REPRESENTING AN INCREASE OF 56 PERCENT. THE INCREASE IN PRODUCTION WAS DUE TO RESTRUCTURING AND STREAMLINING OF MINING OPERATIONS.

MANGANESE PRODUCTION INCREASED TO 28,409.43 TONNES IN 2020 COMPARED TO A PRODUCTION OF 15,903.60 TONNES RECORDED IN 2019 REPRESENTING AN INCREASE OF 44 PERCENT. MANGANESE PRODUCTION IS MAINLY DONE BY SMALL SCALE PRODUCERS WITH 21 ACTIVE SMALL SCALE MANGANESE PRODUCERS CONTRIBUTING TO TOTAL PRODUCTION. THE INCREASE IN PRODUCTION WAS ATTRIBUTED TO INCREASED COMPLIANCE IN TERMS OF MORE OPERATIONS BEING FORMALISED. IN ADDITION, MORE MANGANESE PROCESSING FACILITIES HAVE ALSO BEEN SET UP MAINLY IN SERENJE DISTRICT.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

THE COUNTRY RECORDED A REDUCTION IN PRODUCTION OF CEMENT FROM 2,381,745.63 TONNES IN 2019 TO 2,127,832.35 TONNES IN 2020 REPRESENTING AN 11.9 PERCENT DECREASE. THE DECREASE IN PRODUCTION WAS DUE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COVID-19 MEASURES IN WHICH COMPANIES WERE FORCED TO ROTATE AND REDUCE STAFF INTERACTIONS WITH A VIEW TO REDUCING THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN 

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 THE ZAMBIA GEMSTONE MINERS AND TRADERS MARKETING ASSOCIATION.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

IN CONCLUSION, THE PROSPECT FOR THE MINING SECTOR LOOKS POSITIVE DESPITE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AS LONG AS ALL THE GIVEN HEALTH GUIDELINES ARE ADHERED TO. THE COUNTRY HAS PROJECTED TO PRODUCE A TOTAL OF 900,000 TONNES OF COPPER IN 2021. THE COMMODITY PRICES ON THE INTERNATIONAL MARKET HAVE STARTED MAKING POSITIVE GAINS WHICH WILL ENCOURAGE THE MINING COMPANIES TO FURTHER INCREASE THEIR PRODUCTION.

AT A GLOBAL SCALE, THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE IN THE PRODUCTION OF ELECTRICAL VEHICLES WHICH RELY ON COPPER. THE MORE ADVANCED THE TECHNOLOGY BECOMES THE MORE COPPER THE INDUSTRY WILL REQUIRE.

I THANK YOU.

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