A miner sweeps the floor underground at the Chibuluma copper mine in Zambia. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD
A miner sweeps the floor underground at the Chibuluma copper mine in Zambia. Picture: REUTERS/ROGAN WARD

Lusaka — Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, saw its mining revenue drop nearly a third between February and April in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the mining chamber said Thursday.

“Zambia's mining companies have suffered an alarming drop in revenue over the three months February-April 2020, illustrating the deep impact of Covid-19 on mining companies,” the chamber said in a statement.

Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM), an association of mining companies said the 30% drop in revenue was due to “the severe global restrictions on movement (that) have played havoc on the mining supply chain and hindered exports and sale of copper.

The collapse in copper prices experienced early this year added to the burden.

Revenue from mining — Zambia's economic mainstay — is projected to continue on a downward trajectory for another year, it said.

Zambia is Africa's second-biggest copper-producing country after the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the sector is a major employer.

One of the country's biggest miners, Glencore, announced in April it would cut capital expenditure by as much as a quarter during 2020 due to disruption to supply chains caused by Covid-19 and falling commodity prices.