Zambia has more than copper, and offers unexplored potential – by David Whitehouse (The Africa Report – January 19, 2022)

With billions of dollars worth of African gas, gold, copper and cobalt to hit the markets in 2022, industry players are focused on the next big deals. The election of a new government in Zambia in August 2021 has led to optimism that the country is the stand-out player in African minerals exploration for 2022.

“All eyes are on Zambia,” says Peter Major, director of mining at Mergence Corporate Solutions in South Africa. Major spoke in Cape Town in October as he prepared for a mining investment trip to Zambia. In the new president, Hakainde Hichilema, he says, the country has “a real businessman” in charge.

As well as copper, whose industrial mining in Zambia dates back to the 1930s, the country has significant potential in gold, manganese, emeralds and coal, Major says.

There has been a historic lack of exploration since the post-independence nationalisation of the mines, he says. Over the past five years, in particular, there has been “no motivation to prospect”.

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