Government has adopted a pragmatic mineral policy which is designed
to enhance investment in the mining industry and to ensure the
development of a self-sustaining minerals-based industry. The
recent privatization of the copper mining industry, formerly
managed under the parastatal umbrella of Zambia Consolidated
Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM), is a clear demonstration of this intent.
Enactment of this policy is being promoted by the Ministry of
Mines and Minerals Development through the technical support
available from its three constituent departments - Geological
Survey, Mines Development and Mines Safety.
Key objectives of the Government's Mining Policy, published in
1995, are as follows:
- To make the private sector the principal
producer and exporter of
mineral products through putting in place a privatization programme
and to promote private sector initiative in the development of
new mines in order to increase and diversify mineral and mineral-based
products and exports. This will maximize long-term economic benefits
to the country.
- To promote the development of the small-scale
mining industry which has the potential to significantly contribute
to the economy.
- To promote the development of gemstone
mining and facilitate liberalized marketing arrangements in order
to realize the industry's potential to contribute to the development
of the economy.
- To promote the exploration and exploitation
of industrial minerals and energy minerals and to encourage the
establishment of a ferrous industry.
- To reduce the danger of ecological damage
arising from mining operations as well as damage to the health
of workers and inhabitants of the neighbourhood through air,
water and land.
- To promote the local processing of mineral
raw materials into finished products for added value.
The policy is aimed in particular at encouraging
private investment in exploration and in the development of new
mines. In addition to returning the major copper mines to the
private sector, thus encouraging cost-effective management and
greater exploitation of the enormous copper resources, the policy
seeks to direct attention to the exploitation of the very diverse
range of metalliferous deposits, industrial minerals, gemstones,
and energy resources that are present throughout Zambia.
of Mines and Minerals Development
Policy decisions within the ministry are made by the Minister,
assisted by the Deputy Minister. The chief executive is the Permanent
Secretary who directs four statutory departments - Geological
Survey, Mines Development, Mines Safety and Headquarters, the
latter being devoted to administrative matters.
The primary roles of the Geological Survey are to provide geological,
geophysical, and geochemical data on a country-wide basis, to
prospect on behalf of Government, to act as a national depository
of all information relating to the geology of Zambia, and to
provide support and advisory services to the public. These are
supported by a full spectrum of chemistry, geophysics, geology
and cartography laboritories.
In its role as the national depository
for geological information the Geological Survey has accumulated
a wealth of maps, publications, reports, and data generated by
the Survey staff and also derived from external sources including
exploration reports and international journals. These are archived
and maintained by the Technical Records office, Archive, and
Library which comprise the Information Section. Key data sources
include the following:
- Geological Reports:
texts to accompany
1:100 000 geological maps.
click for detailed map
- Memoirs and Bulletins of the Geological
Survey: descriptions and evaluations of specific geological terrains.
- Economic Reports: descriptions of specific
mineral deposits or occurrences of potential economic interest.
- Technical Reports: similar to Economic
Reports but often containing an element of technical evaluation.
- Occasional Papers: publications in national
and international journals relating to the geology and mineral
resources of Zambia.
- Minex Reports: produced by the exploration
arm of Zimco Ltd., a parastatal mining and exploration group,
and describing mineral occurrences and exploration activities.
- Geochemical Data: stream-sediment, soil,
and rock samples analysed for selective suites of trace elements
and resulting from three major initiatives - the Regional Geochemical
Mapping Project, the Metallogenic Province Mapping Project, and
the Granitoid Geochemistry Project, which have generated data
for approximately 30% of Zambia. These data have been digitized,
together with some data incorporated from company exploration
reports, and are available on disk.
- Geophysical Data: a reconnaissance-scale
Bouguer anomaly map of the whole of Zambia published at a scale
of 1:1 500 000 with contour intervals of 5 milligals; complete
airborne magnetic coverage of Zambia and 70% radiometric coverage
at line spacings of between 800 m and 2000 m and mean terrain
clearance of 150 m. The magnetic and radiometric surveys were
undertaken in the 1970's and so are mostly not up to present-day
standards, but the data are valuable for undertaking preliminary
geological assessments of areas. The data are stored as contoured
- Mineral Inventory Database: the Geological
Survey has an ongoing commitment to the preparation of a computerized
database comprizing the c.350 mineral deposits and occurrences
listed in a major compilation prepared by Watts, Griffis and
McOuat (1991) on behalf of ZCCM.
A search-service is available to the public or the database can
be purchased on disk. Copies of the substantial compilation by
Watts, Griffis and McOuat can also be purchased from the ZCCM
Operations Centre at Kalulushi. Additionally, ZCCM's Technical
Services Department can provide access to their extensive archive
of company reports and also permit examination and limited sampling
of their enormous drill-core repository.
Key responsibilities for the Mines Development Department are
the issuance of all prospecting, retention and mining licences,
together with the monitoring of mining operations to ensure that
development is in line with approved programmes of operations
and in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act. The Department
also issues Gemstones Sales Certificates and undertakes reconnaissance
surveys, demarcation of plots, placement of beacons and mine
The Department is divided into four technical sections - Mining,
Explosives, Machinery and Environment - which variously enforce
the relevant legislative and statutory instruments, formulate
new legislation and regulations, evaluate all aspects of safety
in mining operations, offer technical advice and training, and
offer exemptions from the relevant regulations where appropriate.