From Rolling in the Copper Dust to producing Copper Cables?

Nkandu Beltz is a Mining Entrepenuer, Philanthropist, Author and cultural consultant.  Born in Zambia, she spent some of her formative years in Ndola playing outdoors like most other children and getting quite dirty.  When asked to take a bath she responded, “No, I don’t want to bath because I have copper dust between my toes.” Even at that early age, she understood the value of what she stood on and it is no wonder she is today poised to take the fore as a woman to be watched in Zambia’s copper exploration and mining space.

To understand why we must take note of this name in Zambia’s mining forest of names and entities, one must appreciate who Nkandu Beltz is and what drives her.

Nkandu Beltz was raised a change maker and today is a strong believer in social justice and positive disruption.  Where others were asked what they would be when they grew up with responses expected being “a doctor” “a ballerina” or “a lawyer”, Nkandu Beltz’s father and grandfather asked “what changes will you make to the World as you see it when you grow up”.  An ardent reader of autobiographies and self help books by the likes of World renown Authors like Zig Zigglar and John F Demartini from an early age, Nkandu Beltz has always been focused, self motivated and driven to be and make the change she wants to see.

Now living in the capital city of one of the World’s most significant mining regions, Perth in Australia. Nkandu Beltz has had the benefit of seeing how mining, and the wealth it generates, can benefit the people and region in which the mining activities take place.  She was able to contrast this against the African situation where sadly, while the resources are plentiful, the majority of mining operations are conducted by entities and persons from outside the continent and there is little evidence of the wealth generated from these activities in the towns and cities of Africa or amongst the people.

This moved Nkandu Beltz, to not only push for social justice, but to be a driver to achieve the change she wants to see in Africa.

“Poverty brought me to where I am now.  It got me thinking how do I help my people get out of poverty…….. justice for me is giving my (the Zambian) people jobs … The opportunity to work in my birth country to give back and work with my people for my people is unreal and special.”

Having sought access to the table in existing mining operations in Africa at the director level and been denied, Nkandu Beltz refused to be discouraged, seeking instead to “create her own table” by forming her own mining company, Beltz Mining Limited.

Beltz Mining Limited is a public unlisted Company incorporated in Australia with a vision to create mining interests in Zambia that would oversee prospecting to mining to refining to producing end products all within the country.  By so doing, it would create jobs and a value chain that would benefit the country and it’s people.

2019 saw the Zambian subsidiary of Beltz Mining Limited, Kopano Mineral Resources Limited (“Kopan0”) obtain exploration licences and began prospecting in Luswishi, an area bordering Chingola and Solwezi, and also around Ndola rural.

Kopano, meaning uniting or bringing together in Sestwana, has a team of Zambian professionals working together, under Nkandu Beltz’s oversight as Managing Director, with a strong focus on sustainability and profitability of the operations.  Nkandu Beltz says:

“I am fortunate to be working with a very experienced team and we continue to meet all the licence requirements and obligations including having environmental assessment briefs in place and utilising operations methods that are sustainable. This, and that we ensure that our reporting is in line with international standards, has allowed us to have a good repour with the Zambian regulators including the Ministry of Mines, Zambia Environmental Management Agency and Zambia Development Agency. 

Zambia is my home and I want to achieve the international benchmarks in order to preserve my own home.”

Kopano’s prospecting activities have yielded good results with the location of commercially viable and abundant copper ore of 0.5% grade at Luswishi and 1.1% grade at the site in Ndola rural. These positive results have laid a good foundation for mining works which will soon be commencing in those areas.

Nkandu, a seasoned cultural consultant, is alive to the importance of respecting cultural nuances and obtaining the buy-in of the people even as wealth creation is pursued.

“Good relations with the local traditional authorities and the local communities are very important.  I have heard it said by the local communities and traditional leaders that we would rather be poor than disrespected.  My team and I consider the local communities in which we work as partners in what we seek to achieve.  My experience having grown up in the Ushi royal culture, observing the Setswana culture and living amongst First Nation people in Australia has provided me great insights and experience into how to manage and foster respectful, good and beneficial relationships.”

Amongst the many firsts of her project and ambitions includes that she intends to ensure all the end-to-end processes in the copper value chain are conducted in Zambia.  That is, that after the exploration and prospecting stage, Kopano will begin mining, all ore mined will be refined in Zambia and the refined ore fabricated into end products in factories within Zambia.  This will result in more employment opportunities, higher skilled labour engagements, higher value exports which will result in greater wealth creation and income for the country.  The second, and equally impressive, is her intention to list Kopano on the Lusaka Stock Exchange to allow for Zambians to invest and have a stake in Kopano’s shareholding.

Both of these firsts are well aligned with Ms Beltz vision to ensure wealth is generated in Zambia for the people with the people.  Nkandu Beltz is a woman whose background, experience, skills and networks have her primed to achieve her dreams for the benefit of Zambia and her people.

Nkandu Beltz is definitely a woman to watch.

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