Zambia's Copper Boom Helps Development


"The country has been able to cut inflation, increase growth rate."

Associated Press

Zambia's mining minister says a copper boom is helping his government build infrastructure and spur economic growth.

The minister, Maxwell Mwale, was upbeat at the country's first international mining and energy conference held Wednesday and Thursday. Mwale said the copper-rich southern African country has been able to cut its annual inflation rate to the single digits at around 9% while the annual growth rate has climbed to 7.8%.

Mwale says Zambia's annual copper production of 749,000 tons should easily go above the 1-million mark by 2015.

The steady rise in world prices for copper, used in consumer electronics and as electricity wiring, is linked mainly to demand in fast-growing China.

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