Zambia Maps 50 percent mineralization zones

Zambia, Africa’s top copper producer, in its quest to diversify from traditional production

of the red metal, has mapped and identified over 50 percent of the mineral potential areas,

local media reported.

The exploration undertaken since last year has seen 52 potential mineral rich areas mapped

after explorations by the Government and various stakeholders as the country seeks to

expand its mineral wealth and improve its social sector.

Mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa says over 50 percent has been explored since last

year and plans are underway to identify more areas with various other minerals including

manganese.

The Government is now considering possibilities of issuing large scale exploration licences in

manganese-prone areas including Luapula,Eastern and Northern Provinces, the Zambia Daily

Mail Quoted Musukwa as saying recently.

There have been significant exploration done so far with 48 percent of geographically

surveyed maps remaining for discovery as the Government seeks to further increase its

exploration exercise and identify more minerals other than copper.

Large scale mining licences will soon be issued to exploration companies to venture into

Northern, Central,Luapula and Eeastern provinces.

Presently Managese is mined on small scale in Luapula province but the Government

is seeking to expand its efforts into various parts of the country to exploit the mineral

potential it is endowed with and ensure Zambia remains a mineral rich country unlike

depending on copper which has been mined over the years.

The Government, Musukwa adds has intensified monitoring and supervision of mining

related activities in the mapped areas using the geographically mapped data to ensure

maximum returns.

It is the Government’s desire that the discovery of more minerals will assist improve the

welfare of people in the affected areas and assist improve the social sector, where both

affected mining companies and the Government will seek to improve the people’s living

conditions, according to data.

It is envisaged that with more areas identified with various minerals, Zambia’s copper

outturn will rise to 1.5 million by the years 2016 and increase the country’s capacity to raise

foreign exchange through export and sale of copper and other minerals to foreign metal

markets.

Zambia has a mining history which spans over ninety years including the late 1960’s, when

Zambia was the world’s third largest copper producer, after the US and the former Soviet

Union. Mining was and remains central to the Zambian economy. It has played a key role

in the social and economic development of the country. Zambia has predominantly been a

copper mining country being the largest copper producer in Africa and the world’s seventh

copper producer.

In the 1970’s, copper production in Zambia reached its peak (700,000 tons). Subsequently,

falling copper metal prices caused annual production to drop to 200,000 tons in the late

1990’s. Since the early 2000 following completion of the privatisation Of the mining sector,

Zambia’s mining sector has recovered sharply.

With the rising prices of metals on the international commodity markets spurred by

increased demand for metals from Asia, especially China, Zambia’s copper production has

surpassedits peak recorded in

1972 of 700,000 tons.

Zambia has continued to attract foreign direct investment in the mining and this has

supported this increase in copper other metal production. Copper production has increased

from 572,793 tons in 2008 and raising to over 800,000 tons in 2012 with a projection that

copper production will reach 1,500,000tons by the year 2016 on account of new mining

projects that are currently under development.

The mining sector has attracted investment in excess of USD 8 billion since the year

2000 creating 74,000 jobs by the year 2012 up from 27,000 jobs in the year 2000. It is

projected that investments in the mining sector will reach approximately USD 15 billion on

account of new projects under implementation and/or exploration by the year 2017 if the

international metal prices hold Above current levels recorded in the first and second quarter

of the year 2013 (eg, copper prices are just about or below USD 7,000 as of

Q2 2013).

Zambia’s endowment of mineral resources is substantial and the mineral wealth includes

metals, gemstones, industrial, agricultural, building and energy minerals. Production

of metallic minerals dominates the mining sector. Nevertheless, the full potential of

these and other known mineral deposits is yet to be realised creating greater exploration

opportunities.

Zambia comprises a number of very diverse geological terrains ranging from a stable

early Proterozoic craton to structurally complex “mobile belts” and younger cover rocks.

This diversity hosts the considerable exploration potential of the country. The geological

complexities and multiple tectono-thermal events evident in Zambia are due, in large

part, to the country’s unique geographic location between the massive Kasai Craton to the

west and the Zimbabwe-Kaapvaal (‘Kalahari’) and Tanzania cratons to the south and north

respectively. Inter-cratonic dislocations and the buttressing effects of these stable blocks

have exerted considerable control on the geological evolution of the country.

Some 80% of the country has been mapped, although a significant amount of this work is

unpublished, including the reconnaissance mapping of the western and north- Eastern parts

of the country-mapping is carried out at 1:50,000 scale and published at 1:100,000 scale as

quarter degree sheets accompanied by a report.

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