KWACHA TO CONTINUE DEPRECIATING DUE TO LOW COPPER PRODUCTION OUTPUT SAYS ANDD

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KWACHA TO CONTINUE DEPRECIATING DUE TO LOW COPPER PRODUCTION OUTPUT SAYS ANDD
…UPND government should avoid playing politics at the expense of economic development and address the operational challenges in the mining sector.

Lusaka… Thursday December 7, 2023

The kwacha will continue depreciating due to low copper production output which has consequently lead to low copper export volumes as a result the country is generating less foreign exchange earnings which is negatively impacting the performance of our domestic economy, observes Advocates for National Development and Democracy.

ANDD Executive Director Samuel Banda has analyzed that Zambia is having less copper production output because the two national strategic mines Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines are not operating at optimum level efficiently and effectively due to financial constraints and operational challenges.

“Due to low copper production output and low copper export volumes, the Kwacha is now trading at K24.3 against a single US dollar and unfortunately, this is shrinking our domestic economy further, its triggering the cost of doing business and living standards will continue to go up. Every day the prices of basic commodities are increasing,” he observed.

“Sad, majority Zambians are failing to cope up with this continued trend of increasing in prices of basic commodities.

Our recommendation is that the UPND government should stop playing politics at the expense of development and welfare of our people and focus on implementation of policies that will help address economic challenges such as the continued depreciation of Kwacha, high cost of living and doing business.”

Mr Banda is of the view that the UPND government should focus on increasing copper production output by ensuring that Vedanta – KCM transition process is finalized.

He said Government should quickly address this Vedanta – KCM transition process this month so that by January, 2024 the investor should have taken over the mining firm.

“We only hope that this transition period can be concluded this month of December so that Vedanta can start operating KCM by January optimally, inject the US$1 billion for mining recapitalization and development, increase copper production output
and create the much needed employment and business opportunities,” he added.

“Additionally, this will promote trade and commerce in our country.

Equally, Government should hasten the contractual partnership negotiation process with International Resources Holding, an investor expected to operate Mopani Copper Mine as an equity partner so that Mopani Copper Mine can also begin to operate optimally and increase copper production out and create employment and business opportunities for our youths. As ANDD we want to indicate that mining is a biggest contributor to our national economic growth and development as it accounts 80% of our Gross domestic product (GDP).”

Mr Banda stated that looking at national mineral portfolio, copper accounts for most of the foreign exchange enernings as it has actually been the main traditional export commodity since independence.

“Therefore in this regard, as a matter of urgency, in the interest of revamping the mining sector, which is our largest economic sector, we are appealing to the government to ensure that they promptly finalize the Vedanta KCM transition process,” he concluded.

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