Mining Paper

Zambia has very substantial mineral resources with deposits grading over 6% copper plus substantial levels of cobalt and deposits of gold, silver and zinc. Other minerals found in Zambia include diamonds; coal; gemstones (emeralds, amethysts, aquamarines, begis and garnets); and a variety of agro and industrial minerals. Despite the presence of these minerals, the copper industry has dominated the mining sector for over 70 years, and has been the engine of the country’s industrial and social development. At its peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, copper mining accounted for more that 80% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, over 50% of government revenue and at least 20% of the total formal sector employment (Simutanyi, 2008). Although copper production was on the increase in the late 1970s, production has declined in the last 20 years largely due to declining copper ores, poor reinvestment in new and existing mines, and unsupportive management practices (PRSP, 2002). 

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