THE approval of 27 mining and exploration licences by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), is expected to boost the country's copper production capacity, Association of Zambian Mining Exploration Companies (AZMEC) has said.
AZMEC said it was now expecting ZEMA to approve more exploration projects to accerarate the opening up of more mining development projects in Zambia.
"We believe the mining exploration sector can accommodate more activity vis-a-viz the yet to be explored large areas of the country. More investment must go into exploration if the country is to see sustainable growth in the mining industry," AZMEC said.
AZMEC said this is an indication that the prospects in the mining sector to attract more investment were still high.
The approved investments in the mining sector includes the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) large-scale mineral prospecting project in Mulungwa area in Sinazongwe District of Southern Province, XingXing Mining Zambia Limited minerals prospecting in Ndola-Kitwe and Solwezi.
Other projects include, Sedgwick Resources Limited exploration activities in Solwezi, Kabwima South area, Itezhi-Tezhi, in Mumbwa and Chinsali districts.
AZMEC said in a statement that it was now expecting mining companies to invest more in exploration works if the country is to see sustainable growth in the mining sector.
Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ) general manager Frederick Bantubonse said the approval of the various exploration investments in the country by authorities was a sign that there was potential in the mining sector.
He said explorations would result into bankable projects, contribute to the development of Zambia by providing employment, inject money in the economy and contribute revenues to the Government.
Mr Bantubonse said CMZ was happy with the efficient manner in which ZEMA was now dealing with applications for mining exploration works.
According to the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, a total of 800,000 tonnes of copper was produced by the major mining companies in 2012.