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Exploration, Production & Exports

According to information provided by the large scale mining companies and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and other government agencies, Copper and cobalt are the key commodities produced in Zambia. In 2015, the production was 710,860 (2014; 708, 258 mt) metric tonnes of copper. Also in 2015 103,439 (2014; 159,151) metric tonnes of Coal, 36,019 Kgs (2014; 6,253) of emeralds and 4,241 kgs (2014; 5,417) of gold were produced by extractive companies in Zambia;

Production of Major Mines in Zambia

In the charts below we present production of the major mines by company in 2015.

Copper production



Trend analysis of export information

Balance of Payments (US $’million), 2013-2015


Copper export earnings, at US $5,233.6 million in 2015, were 31.3% lower than US $7,618.5 million realised  in  2014 due to  lower  realised  prices and export volumes. The average realised  copper price declined  by  23.0%  to  US $5,120.5  per  tonne  in  2015,  largely  reflecting  the  slowdown  in  global  demand, particularly  declining  growth  in  China.  Copper  export  volumes  dropped  by  10.8%  to  1,022,096.5  metric tons  (mt)  from  1,146,315.4  mt  in  2014.


Cobalt export earnings  also  declined  by  42.9%  to  US $70.7  million in  2015.  This  was attributed  to  lower export volumes and average realised prices. Cobalt export volumes fell by 34.7% to 2,978.8 mt from 4,562.2 mt in 2014. The temporary suspension of operations at Chambishi Metals Plc (Zambia’s major cobalt  producer)  in  June  and  July  2015  due  to  challenges  in  procuring  cobalt  concentrate  from  the…


Gold  export  earnings  marginally declined  by  0.3%  to  US  $151.8  million in  2015  on  account  of  the  drop  in volumes. Gold export volumes declined by 1.4% to 140,244.0 ounces from  142,607.0 ounces in export 2014.  Average  realised  gold  prices,  at  US  $1,082.20  per  ounce,  were  1.4%  higher  than  US  $1,067.30  per ounce  recorded  in  2014. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) contributed to the decline in cobalt export volumes. The average realised  price  of  cobalt  declined  by  12.6%  to  US $23,736.3  per  tonne  from  US $27,155.4  per  tonne recorded  in  2014.

Non-traditional  export  (NTEs)

Non-traditional  export  (NTEs) earnings  declined  to  US  $1,848.6  million  from  US  $2,272.1  million recorded  in  2014  (T able  3.7).  Earnings  from  all  major  non-traditional  export  commodities  declined except  maize export  earnings  that  increased  to  US  $215.9  million. The  general  decline  in  prices  of primary commodities on the global market, weak global demand, and loss in competitiveness of firms producing non-traditional export commodities due to a rise in costs of production as firms switched to producing non-traditional export commodities due to a rise in costs of production as firms switched to costly  alternative  energy  sources  accounted  for  the  fall  in  NTEs  earnings.


Get the rest of the production data here