Chibuluma Mine
Chibuluma Mine

Zambia is among the world’s ten topmost producers of copper with Chibuluma Mine being on the ninth position in the world, according Mining for Zambia website .

The website says Chibuluma Mine on the Copperbelt province which has an average copper grade of three percent , is a shining example of a well-run, profitable enterprise.

“ Chibuluma, which is a relatively small mine by Zambian standards, has paid over $100 million in tax since 2007, and has had one fatality in eight years,” it adds.

The website says although only one Zambian mine makes its list, as the country’s copper grades are generally reduced after many decades of mining.

Modern Zambian mining operations have become highly efficient, to make do with reduced ore grades, and remain a major contributor to the country’s economy and exports.

The average growth of the Zambian mining industry between 2017 and 2021 is expected to be about 5.5 percent , meaning that the sector will continue to be a vital contributor to employment and the broader economy.

Topping the list is Sudbury (also known as Victoria) mine in Canada, North America where the grade of ore is nearly eight percent .

The underground mine is found in a unique geological area, caused by a meteorite crashing into earth nearly 2 billion years ago. One of Sudbury’s main shareholders is KGHM, which has its roots in a Polish state mining company.

Las Cruces Copper mine in Spain owned by First Quantum Minerals (FQM), which operates a number of mines in Zambia is second. Average copper grade at this opencast mine is five percent. Operations began in 2009 and are expected to continue until 2022.

Thanks to innovative technology at the mine, copper cathode produced at the mine is very pure. According to FQM, copper cathode produced at this mine reaches a maximum quality of 99.9 percent copper.

The Kinsenda mine in the DR Congo is third recognised. The mine is very close to Kasumbalesa, a town on the Zambian border, and is owned by a South African company, Metorex.

The average grade of copper at this mine is 4.8 percent . It is another underground mine and operations are expected to continue until 2025.

Fourth recognised is Degrussa Coppermine in Australia, and CSA mine also of Australia on the fifth position while Kinsevere open pit Coppermine owned by MMG.in neighbouring, DRC takes sixth position.

KOV Coppermine which is an opencast mine and is the largest high-grade copper operation in the world takes is seventh recognised. Its primary shareholders are Glencore and Gécamines, the Congolese state-owned mining company. The average grade of copper at KOV is 4.2 percent.

Kinsevere Coppermine also of the DR Congo and Reed Coppermine in Canada are seventh and eighth recognised copper mines in the world, respectively according to the website.

According to the same website, the copper mine with the tenth-highest grade of copper in the world is found in southern Laos, a country in south-east Asia

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15 COMMENTS

  1. The headline on Chibuluma is misleading. Chibuluma is currently winding up operations.Yes it was the best mine then and not now.

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    • Correct on one point. As Chibuluma South is winding down, Chifupu orebody has come on stream although the resource is much smaller. Also to be noted is that Kisenda and Chibuluma are both owned by the Chinese who are the parent company of Metorex based in Johannesburg South Africa. Generally copper are Chibuluma mine ie Chibuluma East and Chibuluma West have always been rich with grades ranging between 3% to anything above 5%.

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  2. Paid $100m tax for 10 years but you will realize that they made profits amounting to $500m

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    • Tax is based on product quantity. Where as KCM or Mopani will talk in terms of millions, mines like Chibuluma produce only 1,000tonnes of copper per month hence the seemingly small tax.

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  3. We see the trend of Zambias copper degrading or running out.

    The GRZ have to double their efforts away from copper on manufacturing, agriculture and touarisim, not just paying lip service to….

    “diversification, diversification , fyonoo, fyonoo….”

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    • Kaunda tried this angle by refusing to open new mines like Lumwana, but instead we called him all sorts of names especially on the BACK TO THE LAND POLICY.

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  4. This is misleading. The article in question talked about Chibuluma having the 9th most rich copper content!!

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  5. Ninth best copper mine in Zambia! And what have our Zambian miners and their families have to show for their effort? Nothing. It’s quite a pity.

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