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ZCCM-IH Background and History

ZCCM-IH has a rich heritage in the Zambian mining sector which spans more than 100 years. Mining in the country was recorded to have begun with the discovery of copper at Kansanshi in 1899 and commenced commercial mining in 1908. This was followed by the lead and zinc discoveries in Kabwe in 1902 with commercial mining having started in 1906 and 1923 respectively.

The modern history of the Copperbelt began in 1923 when exclusive prospecting concessions were granted to the Anglo-American Corporation for the 3000 square kilometre Rhokana Concession, and to Roan Selection Trust (RST) for the 80 000 square kilometre Rhodesia Congo Border Concession. Anglo American Corporation which was later known as Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines (NCCM) operated Nchanga, Nkana and Konkola copper mines, while RST which was later known as Roan Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (RCM) operated Roan Antelope, Mufulira and Chambishi copper mines. RST’s first production came from Roan Antelope Copper Mines Limited into Luanshya in 1931, and was followed by the Anglo-American Corporation group’s first production from Rhokana Corporation in Kitwe in 1932.

Following the Mulungushi Reforms of April 1968 and the subsequent proclamation in August 1969, the Zambian Government acquired 51% interests in the companies of the Anglo-American Corporation group on 26 June 1970 and that of RST on 16th August 1970.

The two companies were subsequently merged into one company, namely Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) on 25th March 1982. ZCCM operated underground and open pit mines, and had copper and its related metals’ plant and metallurgical installations.

All the operating divisions of ZCCM were privatized by 2000 with ZCCM-IH plc retaining
minority shares in the new mining companies as indicated below:

 Konkola Copper Mines Plc- took over Nchanga and Konkola Divisions;
 Mopani Copper Mines Plc took over Nkana and Mufulira Divisions;
 Binani took over Luanshya Division and is now owned by CNMC Luanshya Copper
Mines Plc;
 Chibuluma Mines Plc took over the Chibuluma mine;
 Kabwe Division was closed in 1994;
 NFC Africa Mining Plc took over Chambishi Copper Mine;
 Chambishi Metals Plc took over Chambishi Cobalt Smelting Plant;
 Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc took over the Electricity Power Distribution
Division; and,
 Kansanshi Mine Plc took over Kansanshi Mine, which had several years of
intermittent dormancy and activity.


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