Find Mining expertise in Zambia

Zambia is a country rich in mineral and gemstone deposits; consequently mining is the biggest export earner in the country. According to EITI statistics, the mining sector directly accounted for 9.5% of the country’s GDP, with an indirect contribution of up to 50%.

Mining of copper and cobalt make up the majority of production in the extractives industry in Zambia. The most significant excavation of these materials takes place in the Zambian Copperbelt and North-Western provinces, which are said to contain the world’s highest grade copper and cobalt deposits. Following privatisation of the copper mines in the 1990s, mining production grew sharply during the 2000s, with substantial new investment and strengthening international prices for much of the decade; however, the global recession of the latter 2000s saw prices fall. The largest companies engaged in the production of copper and cobalt are Konkola Copper Mines plc (a subsidiary of the international mining group Vedanta) and Mopani Copper Mines plc (a subsidiary of Glencore International).

Extraction of zinc and lead are also of vital importance to the Zambian economy. The majority of zinc and lead production takes place from a large mineral deposit in Kabwe, known as one of the highest-grade zinc and lead deposits in the world.

Zambia is also responsible for nearly 20% of the world’s yearly emerald production, and is one of the top three emerald producers in the world alongside Colombia and Brazil. The country’s top emerald producer is Gemfields, which has  joint venture with the Zambian government.

Included in Zambia’s vast mineral wealth are substantial coal resources, which have been utilised since the 1960s. The bulk of coal comes from the Maamba coal mine, located in the southern part of Zambia, and owned by Maamba Collieries, the largest coal mining company in Zambia. Coal production has fallen in recent years, showing an overall decline from 2000–11 from 214,000 short tons to just 1,000 short tons. In 2012 the Ministry of Mining announced that given the growth of the mining sector as a whole, coal mining was expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and that Zambia could expect to become one of the region’s leading coal producers towards the latter half of the century.

Uranium deposits have also been found across Zambia. The extraction of Uranium, however, has been limited to 12,000 kg of uranium oxide, extracted and produced by the Nkana Mine in the 1950s. Further uranium mining has been negligible.

According to a report published by the Republic Of Zambia Central Statistical Office, the 2010–11 Quarterly Employment and Earnings Inquiry Report, the estimated number of workers in the mining and quarrying industry at the end of 2010 was 53,326. This figure represents 8.1% of all workers in the formal sector in Zambia for the first, third and fourth quarters of 2010, and 8% in the second quarter.

Mining and Minerals organisations in Zambia
Glencore International
Konkola Copper Mines Plc
Lumwana Mining Co.
Mopani Copper Mines Plc
ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc

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