Zambia loses a third of mining revenues to Covid-19

The mining industry in Zambia, the country’s main provider of foreign exchange, brought in $60 to $65 million from February to April, compared to the $90 million expected.

Zambia is the second largest copper-producing country on the continent.

Severe global restrictions on movement have hit mining supply chains and hindered the export and sale of copper, the mining industry association said, hurting company revenues and government coffers.

This difficult situation for the sector could last a year, according to the Zambian Chamber of Mines. Mining companies have also seen costs increase as they implement COVID-19 prevention measures to ensure the safety of workers and surrounding communities. In addition, the sector is facing a drop in world copper prices and an increase in costs following anti-coronavirus protection measures.

The mining company Glencore announced in April that it was mothballing its two Zambian copper production sites. It resumed operations in May but confirmed its intention to definitively shut down at the end of July due to falling prices and the health crisis.

 

According to the Zambia Miners’ Union, the Swiss giant’s decision threatens 11,000 jobs in the country.

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