Zambia's Minister of Mines and Energy Yamfya Mukanga has stopped First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM) from exporting the 60,000 tonnes of copper concentrates for processing.
He said the mining firm has to first exhaust all available means in Zambia before taking it to neighbouring countries.
Mukanga said the PF government was examining all smelters in the country to ascertain their processing capacity before considering whether FQM or any other mining company could be allowed to take the copper concentrates outside the country.
"Government is not very keen on letting the copper concentrates leave the country for processing. We are working hard to ensure that this consignment of Copper which is worth about US$100 million is processed within the country," Mukanga said.
He said his ministry had asked the mining firm to submit their request in writing on how best to get rid of the copper concentrates while considering the information that was received on the ground.
Mining giant, First Quantum Minerals is seeking to export 60,000 tonnes of copper concentrates from its Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi because the smelters on the Copperbelt province were heavily congested.