10 October 2017

Zambia Small for Metal Exchange Platform

The Zambian market is too small to have a metals exchange platform because of limited pool of metals in the country, the government has said.

Stakeholders have been calling for the establishment of metal exchange platform to curb the transfer of pricing and promote local value addition to the mineral value chain.

Mines and Mineral Development Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda, however, said the local market was too small for a metal exchange platform.

He said if a metal exchange was established, only copper could trade as other minerals such as cobalt had been depleted while the production of nickel was still uneconomical.

Mr Chanda said the country could not meet the cost of transporting metals to oversea buyers.

" A metal exchange cannot work in Zambia because the market is too small, once we have it, we can disadvantage ourselves in the sale of copper.

"W e do not even have a variety of metals to trade, only copper can be traded as the production of cobalt and nickel had become uneconomical," he said.

Mr Chanda said copper producers in the country already had an established market and were using the London Metal Exchange (LME) for pricing.

He said Zambia was currently the seventh producer of copper in the world and was only contributing a small per cent of the metal on the world market.

He said if Zambia establishes a metal exchange, the country could not compete with LME as it was the only approved platform with professional and accredited investors trading on its market.

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