LUSAKA, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Mining firms in Zambia have projected that copper production will hit 1.5 million tonnes in the next five years, the Zambia Daily Mail reported on Monday.
The Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ), an umbrella body of all large mining firms in the country, has attributed this to new mining projects embarked on by mining firms.
Fredrick Bantubonse, the organization's general manager, said mining firms have so far invested 6 billion U.S dollars in rehabilitation and expansion of new processing plants since the privatization of the country's mining sector.
"Come 2016 and 2017, we should be doubling our production from the current production which is almost 700,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes. More projects are underway, we have seen expansion projects," he was quoted as saying by the paper.
With all things being equal, production levels are likely to increase tremendously in the next five years, he added.
According to him, mining firms have continued to pump resources in their operations but expressed concern that the industry still faced a number of challenges such as high cost of production, high stripping ratios, mining registration and poor operation of cadastre system.
Last year, copper production in Zambia stood at 869,052 tonnes compared to 852,566 tonnes during the previous year.