Rising Copper Thefts Worry Economists

first-quantum-mining-copperA Lusaka-based economist has expressed concern over continued reports of thefts of copper cathode in the country saying this has a negative impact on economic growth.

Professor Oliver Saasa noted with sadness that government has continued to lose revenue through tax invasions by illegitimate dealers in the mining industry.

Professor Saasa said the trend may cause loss of investor confidence in the mining sector if it continues.

“The mining industry can only remain attractive to investors if it embraces business security and safety of its products, especially that copper has remained the country’s economic driver as it accounts for over 70 per cent of the nations export revenue,” he said.

Prof. Saasa said the thefts are an indication that the demand for copper on the black market had increased.

He however commended law enforcement agencies and other security wings for unearthing copper theft scams.