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UPDATE 1-Zambia's chamber of mines sees rising copper output in 2016

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LUSAKA Nov 23 Zambia's copper production is expected to increase by 4 percent to 740,000 tonnes this year, the Chamber of Mines in Africa's second-largest producer of the metal said on Wednesday.

A government forecast in February indicated Zambia's copper production will be around 700,000 tonnes this year and next year before rising to 1 million tonnes in 2018.

However, the Zambia Chamber of Mines acting Chief Executive Officer Talent Ng'andwe said output will get a boost from a new mine by Canadian mining firm First Quantum Minerals.

"The projected output for this year is not less than 740,000 tonnes of copper," Ng'andwe told Reuters.

Zambia's 2016 copper production could have been much higher without a shortage of electricity in the southern African nation, which had forced some mines to cut output, he said.

The Chamber of Mines' president Nathan Chishimba said in a statement that Zambia needed to change its tax regime to entice new and existing investors to the sector.

Despite recent welcome changes to the mineral royalties tax, Zambia's overall effective mining tax rate remained among the highest in the world, Chishimba said.

Mining companies operating in Zambia include Glencore , First Quantum Minerals, Vedanta Resources and Barrick Gold. (Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia)

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