Mines and Minerals Development Minister Christopher Yaluma says total annual copper production for 2017 is projected to slightly increase to 778,379 tons from 770,587 tons in 2016.
He says the continued increase in copper production is attributed to the recovery of copper prices on the international market.
Mr. Yaluma has told parliament in a ministerial policy statement on the 2018 national budget, that copper prices are projected to average , 5, 827 united states dollars per ton in 2017 compared to 4, 868 united states dollars per ton in 2016.
He says the basis for the 2018 budget estimates for his ministry is the seventh national development plan.
And Mr. Yaluma says government will continue to provide a conducive environment to attract more investments in the mining sector especially in the exploitation of minerals and gemstones which remain under exploited.
Mr. Yaluma says his ministry will also implement measures to address the challenges of illegal gold mining that is taking place in petauke, Vubwi, Luano and Rufunsa districts.