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.
Quarrying takes place across Zambia to produce aggregates for building and construction purposes. Products include stone, sand, cement and lime.
The main companies involved in the quarrying sector in Zambia are Africa Lime Industries Zambia, which is involved in the extraction of lime in an both an industrial hydrated lime manufacturing facility in Lusaka and a calcitic and dolomitic limestone quarry and processing facility in Kabwe; and Lilyvale Agrilime and Aggregates, responsible for an agricultural limestone plant and a stone quarry.
The Tanzania–Zambia Railway Authority also runs a sector specific quarry in Zambia, the Mununga Quarry in Mpika, for the production of ballast for railway maintenance and expansion. The quarry also produces by-products in the form of aggregates, chippings, boulders and quarry crusher dust, which are then sold to industry.
The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is the government agency tasked with enacting legislation for the mining sector in Zambia and granting mining and exploration licensed for large- and small-scale mining operators.
Legislation brought into force by the ministry began with the 1995 Mines and Minerals Act, introduced to simplify licensing procedures, place minimum limitations on mining activities and increase investment in the mining industry. In 2008, the 1995 Mines and Minerals Act was repealed following criticisms of the excessive granting of tax concessions for large-scale mining companies. A new act, the Mines and Minerals Development Act 2008, was introduced which, as a result of these criticisms, forbids special allowances for the development of mining licenses.
The Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development is also involved in the adoption of a new mineral policy by the government of Zambia, designed to increase investment in extractive industries.
|Mining and Minerals organisations in Zambia|
|Konkola Copper Mines Plc||
|Lumwana Mining Co.||
|Mopani Copper Mines Plc||
|ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc||