copper mining and processing
Zambia has traditionally relied on the copper mining industry. In 1998, the copper output had grossly fallen to 228,000 tonnes, following a 30-year constant decline, due to insufficient investment, low copper prices and lack of proper decision regarding privatization. It was only in 2001 that the country recorded increased productivity for the first time since 1973. This was the consequence of a complete year of privatized industry. The copper industry’s future was threatened in January 2002 when investors in the largest copper mine decided to withdraw their investment. However, the surging rates of copper from 2004 till date heightened international interest in the country’s copper sector. China has invested heavily in the Zambian copper industry and in February 2007, China and Zambia announced the forming of the Chinese-Zambian economic partnership zone round the Chambishi copper mine.
Some of the other Zambian industries are as follows:
Electrical Power: The country exports power to many neighboring countries. Ironically, only 18% of the country’s population has access to electricity. The two major power suppliers in Zambia are Zambian Electricity Supply Company Ltd. (ZESCO) and the Central African Power Corporation (CAPC). ZESCO, the national authority, was privatized in 1999. It is responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity.
Telecommunications: Zambia’s telecommunication sector was liberalized in 1994, when the Communications Authority was formed and the postal services were separated from the telecom operations of Zambia’s Posts and Telecommunications Corp. Ltd.
Mining: Copper and cobalt have always remained the key focus of mining activities in Zambia. The copper belt located between Zambia and the DRC is one of the biggest metallogenic provinces in the world, with the highest grade of metal deposits. The country is the 7th largest copper producer in the world and the second largest cobalt producer.