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Exploration, Production & Exports

Production Base and precious metals

Copper production decreased by 4% in 2021 compared to the production in 2020. This was due to reduced outputs at Lumwana, Kansanshi, Konkola, Kalumbila and Lubambe mines. Lumwana Copper Mines had declined by 15% in 2021 compared to 2020 due to challenges with the mining fleet. The Company had experienced a lot of downtimes due to breakdowns of the fleet which was old as it had not been replaced since the company commenced operations.

Kansanshi recorded a decline of 9% in copper production attributed to the low copper grades of below 1% which the mine had been encountering. The heavy rainfall experienced in the province also impacted negatively on production in 2021.

Lubambe recorded a decline of 13% due to low copper grades that has been encountered and also the reduced production profile which the company instituted when Covid-19 broke out.

Kalumbila had a reduced production by 7% attributed to train 1 ball mill trunnion repairs during February which required the SAG mill to operate in a closed circuit at reduced rates for most of the month. The company also experienced lower ore grade due to increased low grade ore feed from the eastern extent of the Stage 2 pit.

Konkola Copper Mines production reduced due to the mine being under care and maintenance which is still on-going.

Chibuluma Mine was placed under care and maintenance in June 2020 due to depletion of ore at its central shaft. In 2021 an operator was engaged by Chibuluma to mine at the new Chifupu Mine. Production is now concentrated at Chifupu Mine.

The Mines that have ramped up production include NFCA with the Southeast Orebody now in production, Mopani Copper Mines, Sino Metals and CNMC Luanshya.


Production Industrial Metals

Coal production – there was an increase of 48.68% in the production of coal in 2021 (to 667,307 Mt) as compared to 2020 (production of 448,820 Mt). This was due to the increase in demand of the material by manganese processing plants and the energy sector.

Emerald production – increased by 31.6% from 9,783 Kg in 2020 to 12,871 kg in 2021. The increase is attributed to the Kagem Mine resuming work in April 2021 as it had stopped operations from April 2020 to March 2021 due to Covid-19.

Amethyst production – increased from 518,198 Kgs in 2020 to 1,545,311 Kgs (198% increase). The increase is because of increased compliance in submission of returns by the small-scale producers who characterize this sector.

Gypsum production – increased by 97.90% in 2021 as compared to 2020. This was because of the increase in production at United Gypsum Investments Limited in the second, third and fourth quarters of 2021.

Manganese production – increased by 184 % from 46,514 in tonnes in 2020 to 132,240 tonnes in 202. This was as a result of new processing plants commencing production in 2021. The increase is also attributed to the processing plants being compliant in the submission of mineral production reports.

Cobalt production – declined by 21.93% from 316 Mt in 2020 to 247 Mt in 2021. The decrease was as a result of decrease in copper production at the large mining companies.

Cement – there was a decrease of 2.32% in the production of cement in the year of 2021 as compared to 2020 (2,732,013.45 tonnes and 2,796,896.35 tonnes respectively). The drop was attributed to a slowdown in public infrastructure projects.


The Export data has been collected from the 2021 Bank of Zambia Annual Report and from the Ministry of Finance 2021 Economic Report. The table below shows the export quantities and values. Exports may include metals not produced in Zambia, for example, copper concentrates produced in Democratic Republic of Congo but smelted in Zambia and added to metal exported from Zambia.