Zambia’s current copper reserves can last six decades-Report

FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) Copper Mine in Solwezi
FIRST Quantum Minerals (FQM) Copper Mine in Solwezi

The latest economic report on Africa has revealed that Zambia’s copper mining could continue to operate at current rates for the next 60 years even without new discoveries.

The report states that there is currently a reserve base of 35 million metric tons of copper in Zambia’s soils.

It shows that Zambia remains Africa’s largest copper producer and exported US$6.8 billion worth of copper in 2011.

The report says copper provides 10 percent of the country’s employment in the formal sector.

It further indicates that the copper industry in Zambia also employs thousands of people in the informal sector adding that female workers are mostly represented in the tertiary educated and lower- management sections of the labour structure of copper producing firms.

And the report has revealed that manufactured imports, particularly from some emerging countries such as China and India are affecting local manufacturing in Africa.

The report says Asian giants both help and hinder the manufacturing industry on the continent.
According to the report, domestic producers suffer competition from these countries and often end up leaving the market.

It shows however that in other continents such as Europe, this competition has prompted domestic firms to compete as in the European shoe sector while in others, it has offered new opportunities.
The report also explains that as emerging economies grow, they leave room for other developing countries to produce some of their low technology goods, which create new opportunities.

The latest economic report for Africa therefore recommends that for firms to exploit these new opportunities, governments need to design and effectively implement industrial policies that will among other things help to improve access to credit and address the problem of poor infrastructure and inadequate human capital, which currently constrain market foreign direct investments into Africa.



    • Don’t show your ignorance in public my princess. Its Geological report done by Geologist and Metallurgists.

    • @Dollarsilliyah – I guess you are the gullible type, remember the Y2K bug and how smart people got rich off the their fake predictions?

    • princess, when you visit Zambia, go to the geology department in the mines, they will show you a model. The name copperbelt actually comes from a belt of copper ore that traverses the copperbelt region through to western province into DRC

  1. we need to see tangible benefits even after six decades which translates to 60 Years,Without good policies Zambia will be more poorer. I Botswana a foreigner can not own land but in Zambia prime targets are foreigners if only all the mines were given to Zambians and then partner up with foreigners will we see the results of our copper reserves. :/

  2. if we exported US$6.8 billion worth of copper in 2011 how much of this came back to Zambia to help develop the country.

    • It all remained in Switzerland for the rich boys. Stealing from Africa: why Zambia is poor” you tube. listen and watch it now

  3. If we have achieved almost nothing with our copper in 5 decades of independence you can guess how much nothing is left for us in the 6 decades left for our copper output.It will be 60yrs of doing nada to diversify from dwindling copper reserves.

  4. Resource estimation of reserves is quiet a trick game.The reserves you count as profitable according to the cut off grade you applied may be useless in a decade probably because of falling commodity prices or increasing costs! Nubian princes sorry late this pass without your comment!This is stuff for real men!

    • Geologist, listen. The cut off grade of 20 years ago is the head grade now. The cut off grades of any ore deposit tend to always drop as time goes by. What was thought to be was rubbish becomes gem due to technology improvements and demand.

      KK made a foresight decision for Zambia to be the first country to have the biggest industrial scale of Copper solvent extraction technology in the world due to the treatment of tails that were stockpiled as waste. This tech was used by USA to make an atomic bomb from Uranium and people saw the potential for Copper solvent extraction but the uncertainties were making other people not to take it. KK allowed it for ZCCM at TLP in Chingola

      No one should fool you. Copper has been and will always be the hub of industrialization and development

  5. KK used to tell us about this wasting asset. Icalo nabembaula, I hope the environment we shall leave for posterity will be worthwhile.

  6. Not to dampen the good news but with fibre optics rolling out exponentially across all developed Countries, these projected copper revenues should not get into our heads as Zambians. Fibre optics is now quickly becoming the norm even in villages here in UK. I live in a Village. That is why we have to stimulate value addition within Zambia i.e. make finished products, sim cards, electric switches and breakers of all sorts, etc etc thru cottage industries the same way China does and then export , instead of just sell raw copper and creating jobs elsewhere.

  7. 60 years is not a long time, then there will be nothing left, anyways its not like copper is beneffiting any ordinary zambian at the moment.

  8. Copper has been stock piled in Europe and other places for a long time now. When it finishes in Zambia, they will not miss us. Lets not cheat ourselves with those stupid theories that government has no business in business. Our government should spear heard the creation of industries to add value to copper instead of waiting for private sector in particular, foreigners as this will take another 200 years. E.g. Lets not import those huge transformers for zesco which are basically made of copper.

    • Even people who have not been to school are making rudimentary welding machines and transformers. Zesco also makes small transformers in ndola, why then should we import big ones?

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