Zambia produced 882,061 tonnes of copper in 2020, up 13.6% from 776,430 tonnes produced in 2019, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said on Tuesday, calling it a “historical high” for Africa’s second-largest copper producer.
Musukwa said Zambia aims to produce more than 900,000 tonnes of copper in 2021, and has a long-term goal of exceeding 1 million tonnes in annual production.
A worldwide shift to electric cars, which use much more copper than cars using traditional combustion engines, is expected to boost production of the metal, Musukwa said.
“The prospects for the mining sector look positive despite COVID-19,” Musukwa said.
Copper was discovered in Zambia in the late 19th century, and in the 1950s the Zambian copper belt dominated global production of the metal.