The Zambia Chamber of Mines has challenged manufacturing companies in the country to venture into copper processing to enable the country export finished copper products to increase the value of copper exports and promote job creation locally.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kitwe, Chamber of Mines chairman, Fred Bantuboonse, said mining companies were ready to sell their copper locally to companies that would be in a position to process it into more finished products.
Mr Bantuboonse said the recent calls by government on the need to add value to copper exports was a good idea that should be exploited although it would need well established companies to go into copper processing.
He commended ZAMEFA Plc for its success in the processing of copper into cables and observed that more manufacturers can penetrate the industry.
However, Mr Bantuboonse said mining companies were trying to process their copper to about 99 per cent before it is exported.
Recently, government announced intentions to ensure that the country’s copper is further processed in Zambia before it could be exported to enhance the revenue generated from the commodity and to stimulate job creation.
And on the removal of fuel subsidies, Mr Bantuboonse said the move will negatively affect the mining sector as fuel was an important material in the mining industry.
Recently, government removed the subsidies on fuel and maize in a bid to save funds for various developmental projects in the country although the move has not been well received by some sectors of the economy.