COPPER output increased to over 400,000 metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2014 from around 300,000 tonnes produced in the same period last year.
The copper production rose to 473,249 metric tonnes between January and May from 399,515 tonnes produced in the same period last year.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) governor Michael Gondwe announced the copper production figures and attributed the increase in the mineral output to new developments currently taking place in the mining sector across the country.
Dr Gondwe said copper production increased by 18 percent on year, during the period under review.
“Copper export earnings grew by 7.4 percent to US$3,209.1 million during the first five months of the year from US$2,987.5 million recorded over the same period last year, driven by higher export volumes,” Dr Gondwe said in a recent statement posted on the BoZ website.
He said copper export volumes, at 477.485.3 metric tonnes, were 19.4 percent higher than 399,919.8 metric tonnes recorded during the corresponding period in 2013.
The average realised price of copper, however, declined by 10 percent to US$6,720.86 per tonne from US$7,471.77 registered during the same period last year, he added.
Dr Gondwe, however, said the decline in copper prices by 9.1 percent to the US$6,691.00 per tonne as at June 11 this year from US$7,360 per tonne at the end of December 2013, impacted on market sentiment.
He said Government policy would remain focused on diversifying the export base through supportive interventions in economic sectors and activities with the greatest potential for exports.
Zambia Daily Mail