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African Mining Industry Outlook: Copper

Though copper has been in use for over 10,000 years, the industry surrounding it continues to grow. Zambia’s copper belt alone will see five new mines developed over the next five years. While Zambia is traditionally considered to be the home of African copper mining, a handful of other countries are also involved. As a result of increased activity in the mining, earth moving equipment in Africa has also increased exponentially.

African now a major player in global mining sector

Copper has a range of uses that make it essential to a variety of industries, and thus to the development of the global economy. It is a primary component in a range of alloys, including bronze and brass, as it provides heightened resistance to corrosion. Copper alloys are perfect for making components for a range of earth moving machinery due to their durability. To name but a few parts, bearings, turbine blades and gears are often made from copper alloys.

Other countries seen to play an important role in African copper mining include Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Africa. At African Plant and Equipment we provide plant and equipment hire across Africa and feel it’s important to provide key information around the African / Zambian mining sector to our readers.

Other major drivers for copper demand

Aside from precious metals, which are usually too expensive to merit use, copper is the best conductor of electricity. This asset combined with its other properties, such as ductility and the aforementioned resistance to corrosion, makes it ideal for use in power cables. Creating refined copper is no small process, requiring a range of plant and equipment to make it out of the ground.

Africa’s copper mining hub: Zambia

Zambia is considered to be the centre of Africa’s copper production capabilities, and with good reason. The country accounts for over half of the African continent’s copper output, and is listed by the International Copper Study Group as the seventh largest copper producer on a global scale.

Zambia is a major exporter of refined copper, and was listed as the eighth largest copper exporter for 2012. The industry accounts for a significant 80% of the country’s earnings from export, and provides over 70,000 jobs. Refined copper usage across the globe is increasing, and Zambia is set to help meet the ever growing demand by opening new mines; Konkola North, Konkola Deep Mining Project, the Mindola Synchlinorium project, Chambishi South Ore Body and the Kalumbila mine. This will hopefully increase the industry’s contribution to the country’s GDP, while also contributing to the local economy by providing even more jobs, both directly related to mining, but also in the sectors that cater to copper production companies, such as plant and equipment hire.

African plant and equipment hire

African Plant & Equipment is ideally situated for providing earth moving equipment for the copper mining industry, as we are based in Zambia. As the industry continues to grow we endeavour to meet the changing needs for plant hire in Africa, and can provide dozers, excavators, wheel loaders, trucks, graders, compactors/rollers, ancillary equipment, as well as a range of attachments to suit our rental options.

Call us on 011 100 2391 to discuss flexible plant and equipment hire solutions tailored to your needs.