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Government on course to meet 3 million tonnes copper production – Economist

• Government provided tax incentives to the mining sector in the 2022 budget.
• That was the starting point to ensuring that their plan to meet copper production target is met.
• The macro-economic environment is improving, as lending rates are reducing and the Kwacha is stronger.

An Economist has observed that government is on course with regards to meeting the targeted 3 million metric tonnes of copper production in the next 10 years.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Gerald Soko noted that during presentation of the 2022 national budget, government provided tax incentives to the mining sector and that was the starting point to ensuring that their plan to meet copper production target is met.
Mr. Soko said in reaction to the tax incentives as well as what is currently happening in the economy, the macro-economic environment is improving, as lending rates are reducing and the Kwacha is stronger against the US dollar, which is an indication that something is going right.
He explained that First Quantum Minerals (FQM)’s pledge of investing US$1.25 billion into Zambia’s mining sector is another indication that the expected 3 million metric tonnes of copper production will be attained.
“We have seen that FQM has pledged US$1.25 billion into Zambia’s mining sector, and interestingly this money is going to be spent in the next three years it’s not an amount that you have to wait for 10 years to be spent so that is part of the story.”
“It is not just KCM that we are going to see coming on board, I think at the switch of government in August last year, there was US$2.5 billion from the mining houses and so if just from one firm you are able to get US$1.25 billion intended to be spent to scale up operations obviously that is an indication that even as more mining houses come on board, that’s something that we can benefit from,” Mr. Soko said.
He further observed that there are positive movements in terms of development in the country, as players in the mining sector are nodding the tax incentives in this year’s national budget.
“Already there are positive movements in terms of development, I think we are on course if we can keep improving our macro-economic environment and if we can continue keeping the tax regime light for the mining sector. As things stand now, the players in that particular sector are nodding what government did in the 2022 national budget. So I think we are on course for this and it’s exciting to see that pledges in terms of investment are already coming through as early as now.
Government is looking at moving away from the traditional 800, 000 metric tonnes of Copper per year, to scaling up to 3 million tonnes per year in the next 10 years.

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