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Zambia is looking to position itself as Africa’s top copper producer in the next decade, reclaiming a ranking it lost to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2014.President Hakainde Hichilema’s government, which came to power in August, hopes to ramp up annual copper production from 800,000t to 3Mt — against the DRC’s 1.2Mt — to ride the commodity boom and boost investment in a sector that accounts for 80% of Zambia’s foreign exchange earnings and 11% of GDP.Copper prices at the London Metal Exchange hover at about $10,000/t, having climbed to a record $10,747.50 last year. And finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane expects them to rise even further, given increased demand from industries such as the electric vehicle manufacturing sector."Copper is expected to be as lucrative as oil was in the mid-1970s," Musokotwane said in his national budget address in October. "The ‘new dawn’ administration will facilitate the increase in copper output from the current 800,000t to over 3Mt ...

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