Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is planning to invest over US$1 billion as part of its construction of three new mine shafts. The company plans to make the investments between now and 2018, as part of what MCM dubs its “commitment to turning Mopani into a world-class mining operation by 2023”.
The announcement is a bit of positive news for the mining sector after losing over 10,000 jobs last year following the scaling down of mining activities. MCM lost around 4,300 mining jobs. Of course Zambia is not alone in these challenges. The SADC region has lost approximately 490,000 mining jobs.
The challenge for mining companies in Zambia is that as well as high production costs and low copper prices, the companies face the huge challenge of poor electricity supply. The result is that copper production will remain weak for the foreseeable future with negative impact on economic growth and tax revenues.