May 06, 2018

Zambia: positive outlook despite increasing downside risks

Our outlook for Zambia's mining sector in 2018 remains positive as copper prices continue to rise and the country's electricity supplies improve.

Despite this, we highlight growing risks to our copper production forecasts in the coming years following a series of restrictive regulations introduced by the government recently, which may signal a broader worsening of the country's regulatory environment ahead.

We expect Zambian copper production growth to accelerate in the coming months as copper prices and domestic power supplies improve.

On March 20 2018, The Zambian Ministry of Mines announced that it is targetting copper production levels of over 1 Mt this year, up from 755 Kt in 2017.

While not as optimistic, we forecast Zambian copper production growth to average a strong 8% this year, which will amount to an output of 815 Kt - up from 2% growth witnessed last year.

Nevertheless, we note rising downside risks to our forecast stemming from a worsening regulatory environment in the country, prompted by a delicate economic environment.


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