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Lobito Corridor Rail Improvements Will Make Copperbelt Mining Feasible

lobito corridor rail works showing mingoba deposit

While copper remains Zambia's biggest export, most output today comes from the mines in the North-Western province and not the Copperbelt region. This wasn't always the case and any move to increase production in this part of Zambia is a welcomed move for the highly indebted country battling to stave off further currency depreciation. President Hakainde Hichilema's goal is to triple Zambia's copper production to 3 million tonnes per year by 2032 and this won't be possible without more production from the Copperbelt. Copper production fell precipitously under the previous President of Zambia and hasn't recovered to previous highs in 2013.

copper production per annum from 2002 to 2022

As previously written on the Emerging Real Estate Digest, KoBold is making progress in establishing a new copper mine in the region. The ore bodies at Mingomba are around 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) below the surface making drilling holes and mine shafts time-consuming and expensive. In the best case scenarios, it takes three months to construct one hole and it takes dozens of these to define one resource. KoBold has made progress in concluding some of this drilling and is why it is now seeking strategic and financial partners to take the mine development forward.

Historically, the Mingomba deposit has also suffered from higher costs of moving minerals from mine to port associated with all mines in the Copperbelt in Zambia. The rail upgrades currently occurring in the Lobito Corridor will eliminate this problem and by the time the Mingomba mine is producing at scale the railway connecting it to the Atlantic should be fully operational with all expansion and improvement works concluded.

You can read more about these exciting works on the Lobito Corridor Investment Promotion Authority official website.




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