Nchanga Mine

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Mine TypeOpen Pit
  • Copper
Mining Method
  • Truck & Shovel / Loader
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life2035
ShapshotNchanga operation include a number of open-pit mines, a large underground mine (care and maintenance), Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) with the associated solvent extraction electro winning (“SX-EW”) facility, a smelter with a cobalt recovery furnace, and a sulphuric acid plant and copper concentrators comprising two main processing units and a refractory ore stockpile.

The Zambian government seized Vedanta's copper assets in 2019.

On 6 November 2023, Vedanta Resources and the Zambian government sealed an agreement that restores the ownership of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), ending a protracted ownership battle.

Vedanta Resources has not published production numbers since 2019.


Vedanta Resources plc. 79.4 % Indirect
Konkola Copper Mines plc (operator) 100 % Direct
Ownership Tree
Vedanta owned 79.4% of the share capital of KCM. The remaining 20.6% was owned by ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc, a Lusaka and Euronext listed company which is 77.53% owned by the Zambian Government and 22.47% publicly held.



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Deposit type

  • Sediment-hosted


Copper mineralisation is zoned, with shallower oxidation and supergene mineralisation (chalcocite, malachite and cuprite and less common native copper, chrysocolla and azurite) giving way to primary chalcopyrite, bornite, and chalcocite with pyrite developed below. In most orebodies average grades are fairly consistent over large areas. In the so-called Chingola Refractory Ore (CRO), low-grade copper oxide mineralisation occurs within the crystal lattice of micas and between the mica plates.

Primary mineralisation is hosted within two stratigraphic horizons:
the Lower Ore Body (LOB)
the Upper Ore Body (UOB)

The LOB ranges from a few metres to up to 40 m in thickness and is essentially unfolded and is separated from the UOB by a bedding parallel thrust plane. It can be traced in the NOP over distances in excess of 6km and dips 25° northward for most of its strike length. In the area of the current underground workings, it has been identified to a vertical depth of 900 m. However, it rapidly thins down-dip due to the development of arenaceous facies within the LOB, which limits the future potential of the mine. The LOB is hosted primarily in the Lower Banded Shale and Transition Arkose and has an assay footwall, which may extend into the stratigraphic unit below. Mineralisation in the Transition Arkose is nuggety making grade estimations challenging. Overall the LOB contains average in situ grades from 3% to 5%TCu.

The UOB is some 30 m to 40 m stratigraphically above the LOB and lies within the Feldspathic Quartzite and to a lesser extent in the Upper Banded Shale. It is 10 m to 40 m thick on average and in places is deformed by tight isoclinal folding. The UOB contains from 2%TCu to 3%TCu and has been traced for over 5 km along strike to a depth of 600 m. Cobalt mineralisation with grades of up to 0.7%TCo occurs within the UOB primarily in the Feldspathic Quartzite (TFQ) with an assay hanging wall that extends into the overlying Upper Banded Shale.



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Mining Methods


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Crushers and Mills

Milling equipment has not been reported.



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Copper Metal in concentrate t 0000012,46511,75418,05424,374
Copper Concentrate kt 00011272102104
* Combined production for Konkola Mine and Nchanga Mine

Operational metrics

Annual milling capacity 009.5 Mt
Ore tonnes mined 000000011,469,134 t11,237,492 t10,299,672 t10,676,035 t

Production Costs

Commodity production costs have not been reported.

Heavy Mobile Equipment

Fleet data has not been reported.


Mine Management

Source Source
Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 28, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 28, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 28, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Nov 28, 2023

Aerial view:


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