Zambia 2016 Copper Output To Easily Beat Current Levels, Finance Minister Says

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On a speech addressed to lawmakers on September 9th, 2015 Zambia’s Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda explained that current’s year copper production will be easily beaten next year by the mining industry.

For the year 2015, Zambia is forecasting 600,000 tonnes of copper output, with 441,584 tonnes produced by mining operators by the end of August, explained Minister Chikwanda during his budget speech.

According to Bloomberg, this forecast is down from 808,000 tonnes forecasted last year after the country produced 708,000 tonnes of copper in 2014 but at an average price of USD 6,200 per tonne in the same period.

However, Minister Chikwanda explained that even though the country is budgeting a copper price of USD 5,000 per tonne for the year 2016, the mining industry will largely beat this year’s production.

Despite current prices above USD 5,300 per tonne, Zambia budgets it below to prevent future low copper international demand, Chikwanda explained.

Zambia is Africa’s second biggest copper producer after Congo and the commodity is responsible for more than 70% of the country’s total exports.

Copper current price is at USD 5,336 per tonne up from USD 4,855 per tonne on August 24th, 2015 which was its lowest level in more than six years.