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