The worst of the global economic crisis now seems to have passed and Zambia's mining industry is set for revival.
There has been a resumption of operations in mining firms that had gone on 'production leave' and new investments in the offing.
A rise in copper prices was recorded on the world market during the first half of 2009 and most mining companies started to plan for increased production. Out of the 8,500 jobs lost in the mining industry as a result of the global economic crisis, over 1,500 have been regained.
Total copper production in 2010 is projected to increase by about 5% from a projected 664,000 metric tonnes in 2009, according to the 2010-2012 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and 2010 national budget. However, according to Bank of Zambia official statistics, copper production in 2009 leaped to 675,384 metric tonnes from 587,125 metric tonnes in 2008, representing a 14% rise, despite some mining units halting production. Cobalt production rose to 5,879 tonnes from 4,617 tonnes during the same period under review.
Zambia's revenue earnings from copper sales in 2009 tumbled to $2.9bn from $3.6bn recorded …