Before we get started, I should admit something: I have no idea how a country goes from being poor to being rich. I know that my own country did this, sure, and that Western Europe and Australia and Japan and Korea and lots of other places did too.
In America, getting from poverty to here meant crowded factories, tenement housing, belching smokestacks, diseases caused by human shit in the drinking water. In other places development was born out of devastation, revolution, authoritarianism—nothing we would ask other countries to emulate. Zambia is poor—that much is clear as soon as you arrive.
Copper Mining in Zambia
To get to Kitwe, a city ofpeople in the Copper Belt Province, you land at Ndola airport an hour away. You get off the plane, walk feet across the tarmac, and wait under an awning until a tractor pulls up, towing a cart with your luggage. At no point are you indoors. Most of its immediate bordermates—Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola—you know from the lowest quintile of various corruption, failed state, and poverty indices.
But relative to its neighbors, Zambia is actually doing pretty well. The religious groups mostly Christian, some Muslims largely get along, as do the various ethnicities. People do not disappear in the night, nor are they beaten or tortured for how they vote or who they spend time with. So Zambia is not failed. It is simply very, very poor. Almost 90 percent of women in rural areas cannot read or write.
I work for an international development NGO. Part of my job is traveling to developing countries to gather information on the conditions there, to meet people who are working to improve them. I will spend the next 10 days meeting NGO activists, government officials, and business representatives. They will tell me that Zambia is terrible, that Zambia is fine, and that Zambia is getting better, respectively.
Somewhere between the handshakes, the spreadsheets, the PowerPoints, the annual reports, a story will emerge about Zambia, a story of a country watching its mineral wealth disappear, a country making everyone rich but itself. The highway has no streetlights, the only light is from the cars, and about halfway there we start to see silhouettes of people in twos and threes running across the road. Our driver never slows down, even as the groups increase to six, seven people, crossing our headlights, stopping in the road to let a car whiz by, running again.
I could ask him to slow down, but instead I just look. For more than years, the only reason to come to Kitwe—to Zambia, really—was the copper. Everyone, locals and foreigners alike, are here because of the mines—to work in them, to buy something they produce, to produce something they need.
He works at an NGO in Kitwe that helps communities negotiate with the mining companies. I start washing my hands and the owner shrieks and runs over.Find Out. Zambia has a long history of mining and a large known resource base of copper, emeralds, and other deposits. It also has very good potential for further discoveries. The sector is also a significant source of government revenue and formal employment, both directly and indirectly.
Given this rich endowment of natural resources, an array of stakeholders in Zambia, including investors, government agencies, and civil society organizations, have long questioned why minerals are not bringing as much benefit as they should.
This is why the World Bank chose Zambia as the first country to pilot The Mining Investment and Governance Review MInGovwhich collects and shares information on mining sector governance, its attractiveness to investors, and how it contributes to national development.
The review, based on data from in-country interviews and desktop research, assesses sector performance from the perspective of three stakeholder groups—government, investors in the mining value chain, and civil society—and identifies gaps between declared and actual government policy and practice. MInGov findings in Zambia highlight that the country is an attractive place for investment due to favorable geology, its long history of mining, its political stability, and a relatively favorable economic environment.
But these positive aspects are overshadowed by a lack of transparency and accountability regarding revenue management, a lack of consistency surrounding fiscal policy, and lack of support for diversifying the economy and leveraging of infrastructure for the general population. Throughout the survey, key stakeholders noted the need for the mining industry to more effectively use local products and services.
Currently there is no national supplier development policy for the industry. Increased openness and transparency is another priority issue that government, civil society, and industry agree on.
More specifically, stakeholders agreed on a perceived lack of independence of the licensing authorities. On this front, the Zambian government is making progress through an updated Mines and Minerals Act and implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative EITIwhich they began implementing in and advanced to compliant status in A key challenge for the Zambian government will be to fully integrate the mineral sector into national development plans.
There are also concerns about social and environmental issues surrounding the mining sector. Results will be published later this year.
The complete report for MInGov Zambia and information about the project can be found at: www. You have clicked on a link to a page that is not part of the beta version of the new worldbank.
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How Can Zambia Benefit More from Mining?
So the Politburo is urging some of them to move overseas. Varying levels of financial help have accompanied this push, with state-owned Chinese construction companies in Africa getting goodies ranging from export credits to sweetheart credit lines to government guarantees for bank loans.
At the same time, state-controlled banks have made cheap funds available to private Chinese companies that invest abroad. I met two of those actors on a couch in the InterContinental Lusaka lobby, the epicenter of foreign deal making in the Zambian capital.
Frank He and Michael Huang — brothers in their late twenties — seem pretty typical of the Chinese entrepreneurs combing Zambia for opportunity. The Chinese government has been very encouraging of their Zambian adventure, Huang tells me. I watch the brothers open an account with a local banker seated beside them in the hotel. They marvel at how globalization and a shrinking planet have led to our encounter on the couch.
The brothers go on to highlight another driver behind their presence here: feeding the demands of American companies in China. Plastic, steel, copper, aluminum. People are crazy about resources! China is so competitive, so we come to Africa.
But it may be too late to win the hearts of the locals. With global copper prices at record levels, Zambians have grown furious, complaining that Chinese operators — who bought the reserves at lower levels — are lining their pockets at the expense of the people. During my visit to Zambia, almost everyone I talked to outside the upper tiers of the government spoke harshly about the Chinese. In Africa, Zambia has the second-largest reserves of raw copper after Congo. Meanwhile, Chinese entrepreneurs are using fat bank accounts, vast credit supply, and, in some cases, government-funded incentives to buy up exploration and mining rights, just as they have with timber licenses and concessions in Mozambique.
As a result, Zambia and, more particularly, ordinary Zambians are seeing very little benefit. Western-educated and charming, and wearing a tailored suit, dreadlocks, and jewelry, Kavindele hardly looks like a man being bypassed by economic development. But he says he too is worried for the future. Will our children still have access to mining? For many people here, the only employment available is in a copper mine. The Zambian government has never released any findings on the cause of the incident, which local experts attribute to a heavy reliance on unskilled casual workers.
A year after the blast, a riot by Chambishi workers ended in five dead. I decide to visit Chambishi to find out why the mine has developed such an atrocious reputation — far worse than that of the big mines here owned by Australian, British, Canadian, Indian, and Swiss investors. I arrange a meeting with the Zambian head of human resources at the mine, Wigan Mumba.
On my way out of the compound, I notice the Chinese and Zambian flags flying together over the main headquarters building. I snap a photo and am immediately challenged by a guard who approaches my car.
The Future Inn sits alongside a pit filled with rubbish, a common sight in the township. Since the government rarely collects the trash here anymore, the residents have taken to digging these craters and tossing it themselves. That has brought a big increase in flies and mosquitoes, as well as their attendant diseases. In the township itself, where parasites proliferate alongside the desperate prostitutes, the numbers are even worse.
Francis Bwalya is the elected councillor for one of the wards near the Chambishi mine and was a safety coordinator at the mine when I visited. Bwalya says that in the event of an underground inferno, the Chinese depend on another local mine to put it out.
One Western mining executive in the area says a foreman should be earning five times that amount. I crush a cigarette underfoot.
When I move my shoe, one of the workers bends over, scoops up the crushed butt, and relights it.Zambia is most famous for its reserves of copper and cobalt, however, the country is also a miner producer of selenium and sliver. Gold, platinum, and palladium are also produced as a by-product of copper mining.
Zambia is home to the Zambian Copperbelt Province, a region that hosts world class copper deposits. Zambia is most famous for its reserves of copper and cobalthowever, the country is also a miner and producer of selenium and sliver. Goldplatinumand palladium are also produced as a by-product of copper mining. Copper, along with cobalt was first mined from the belt in the s.
In the early s, the government commenced discussions on the possibility of privatizing copper mining, under pressure by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The privatization of the copper industry was a pre-condition for Zambia to qualify for debt relief through the highly indebted poor countries HIPC initiative.
As soon as privatization was complete, copper production and exploration took off. Inthe first full year of a privatized industry, Zambia recorded its first year of increased productivity since China has become a major investor in the Zambian copper industry, and in Februarythe two countries announced the creation of a Chinese-Zambian economic partnership zone around the Chambishi copper mine. When it comes to the details of how mineralization occurred in this area, there is still considerable debate.
Somewhat similar styles of copper mineralization, variously containing gold, uranium and cobalt, are evident in the Domes Region to the west of the Copperbelt and are attractive exploration targets. Combined reserves and resources of copper-cobalt ore in operating mines of the Copperbelt exceed two billion tonnes and these have mostly been delineated for exploitation the after privatization of copper industry was completed.
Metorex Ltd. Assets include Chibuluma Mines plc. The mine produces approximately 16, tonnes of copper per annum.
KCM owns a variety of copper projects along the Zambian Copperbelt. Equinox Minerals Ltd. Equinox is currently focused on operating its percent owned large scale Lumwana copper mine in Zambia, one of the largest new copper mines to be developed over the last decade.
Equinox acquired the Lumwana project in and following nearly 10 years of feasibility, financing and construction, commissioned the mine, plant and infrastructure in December We offer you the intel you need to target new business across the continent.
Book a free demo to see how Africa Mining IQ can work for you. Incopper mining in Zambia produced tonnes, earning the country the title of the 8th largest copper producer in the world. Copper mining in Zambia is largely centred in the Copperbelt province, where large mining companies, such as Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Minesoperate large projects. African Mining IQ keeps track of copper mining in Zambia on its extensive mining-related database.
The information gathered by experienced researchers is a valuable tool to companies and individuals involved with copper mining in Zambia, helping to keep track of developments. This database also lists contact details for persons involved with copper mining in Zambia. Other details the database provides include project tracking from Mayto Octoberand contact details of individuals involved with the projects.
This serves as a great example of how this database can help with tendering, planning and many other aspects related to copper mining in Zambia. This comprehensive database lists numerous other mining in Zambia projects — from the grassroots and feasibility stages, through to operation and dormancy. All African mining projects are carefully researched and verified by a team of researchers.
In depth analysis reports delve into African mining project statistics such as number of projects per region per phase, and have been created for you to download and use for tendering and project tracking purposes. Tracking and reporting on African mines and African mining projects is part of the mining intelligence service available.
Over companies rely on Africa Mining IQ to help them drive business within the African mining industry. Leading global companies use Africa Mining IQ:. Book a free demo to learn more! Schedule a free demo to see how Africa Mining IQ can work for your business. Mining in North Africa Egyptian Mining. AMIQ login. Verified, up-to-date project info Our dedicated team of researchers ensure all project info is accurate and up-to-date.
Why Subscribe? Copper Mining in Zambia. Africa Mining IQ Reporting In depth analysis reports delve into African mining project statistics such as number of projects per region per phase, and have been created for you to download and use for tendering and project tracking purposes. Click here for more info on Africa Mining IQ services. View our current clients. Find out more.Their predictions for selected football games today and tomorrow (the next 24 hours) are based on the Wisdom of the Crowd.
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Why Is Zambia So Poor?
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