Zambia increased Copper output despite Load Shedding and low prices

Reuters reports that Zambia’s copper production inched higher to 711,515 tons in 2015 from 708,000 tons the previous year mainly due to a new mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday. An electricity shortage and weaker copper prices due to slower growth by top consumer China have piling pressure on Zambia’s mining industry, threatening output, jobs and economic growth in the southern African nation, and put its currency on the back foot against the dollar. Zambia’s policy flip-flops on royalty taxes during the year also  caused concern among mining firms, forcing them to suspended major capital investment in mines or new projects. However, a government spokesman said in December Zambia would introduce a variable tax on mineral royalties that will be adjusted according to metal prices.