The largest copper deposits in 100 years discovered in Zambia

….HH’s mining policies paying off in a big way

The largest copper deposits ever recorded in the Zambian history of mining have been discovered, a development that is expected to make unprecedented contributions to the economy of the country and the wellbeing of its people. In a marked departure from mining projects in the past, project promoters – KoBold Metals of California, which is backed by Billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is expected to seek partnerships and list its shares publicly in the next three to four years.

Making the announcement in Cape Town at the ongoing mining Indaba, Josh Goldman, KoBold Metals co-founder, says the $2 billion-dollar-mine project will be built at its Mingomba project faster and earlier than in the ten years that had been initially suggested. He said the decision to Fastrack the project is intended to meet the fast-growing demand for critical metals. KoBold Metals Africa CEO, Mfekyi Makayi says the project could take off as early as 2027.

Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane is in Cape Town at the mining indaba representing President Hakainde Hichilema. He is accompanied by his counterpart, Paul Kabuswe, Minister of Mines and Minerals’ Development. 

The United States and other developed countries are looking for alternative sources of copper, cobalt, lithium, and nickel as part of the global transition to clean energy and electric batteries. All these minerals can be found in Zambia. Goldman says the quality of the ore body at Mingomba stands at about 5%, competing favorably with the quality currently available at the Ivanhoe Mines’ Kakula deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

At his end-of-year press conference last year, President Hakainde Hichilema announced that large deposits of Lithium have been discovered in Southern Province. To ensure maximum benefits for Zambians, the President said his government will demand that the process of value addition is undertaken in the country. Going forward, the President said his government will demand that partnerships with investors ensured maximum benefits for Zambians, a departure from previous agreements.

The Head of State also announced that mineral exploration, using Artificial Intelligence was underway, an apparent reference to KoBold Minerals which uses the technology in its mining activities at he ongoing exploratory works at Mingomba Mines.

And during budget presentation last year, Finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane announced that a big mining project was in the offing, a project he said was expected to bring unprecedented economic benefits to the country. Since coming to power in 2021, President Hichilema has pledged to transform the mining sector so that Zambians may increase their stake and reap more benefits than they do from agreements secured by previous governments.

As the mainstay of the Zambian economy, President Hichilema hopes that carefully designed agreements with investors could improve output and revenue which, in turn, could spur growth in other sectors of the economy. 

After two years and half in office, the Zambian government has concluded negotiations with investors for both Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani. With KoBold Metals coming on stream, government’s target of 3 million metric tons of copper production in ten years looks increasingly realistic. With increased mineral exports and receipts, the country’s fledgling exchange rate between its local currency and international currencies is expected to stabilize.

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