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Acid Plant Database   March 4, 2015


Chambishi Metals plc



Zambian Copperbelt
35 km northwest of Kitwe


1998 - Anglovaal Mining Limited (Avmin) acquires 90% stake. Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Investments owns remainder
2003 - J&W Holding AG of Switzerland, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to acquire a 90% interest in Chambishi Metals PLC, a cobalt, copper and metal mining company, from Anglovaal Mining Ltd, for 268.154 bil Zambian kwachas (77.339 mil Swiss francs/$55.776 mil US)

Joint venture between International Mineral Resources and Bein Stein Group Resources

China Non-Ferrous Metal Industry Foreign Engineering and Construction Company Limited (85%)

 CNMM-Logo.JPG (7070 bytes)  www.cnmc.com.cn

2009 - 10% - ZCCM-IH www.zccm-ih.com.zm
        - Enya Holdings BV has the majority shareholding in Chambishi Metals plc

Website -
Plant -
Coordinates* 12° 38' 56" S, 28° 2' 25" E
Type of Plant Metallurgical
Copper Isasmelt
Gas Source -
Plant Capacity 90,000 MTPA
Expansion: 340,000 MTPA
Status Operating
Year Built 1995
Technology ENFI
Contractor -
Remarks -
Pictures Chambishi-Metals-1.jpg (222140 bytes)  Chambishi-Metals-2.jpg (189915 bytes)  Chambishi-Copper-2.bmp (202554 bytes) 

Chambishi Metals plc is an African mining, refining and tolling company, with substantial cobalt and copper reserves. As part of the Zambian government’s privatisation initiative, Anglovaal Mining Limited acquired the Chambishi cobalt and acid plants and the Nkana slag dumps from Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Limited during the latter part of 1998.

The Chambishi production facilities, located near Kitwe in the Copperbelt province in Zambia, have been in production since 1978 and includes copper and cobalt production plants. The operation has a cobalt resource at Kitwe in the form of the Nkana slag dump. In addition, Chambishi production facilities processes copper and cobalt from concentrates received from the Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) facility. The cobalt produced is high-grade industry standard and is used in the super alloy industry.

Ore recovered from the Nkana slag dump and concentrates received from LCM are treated in two separate processes:

- Slag is excavated from the Nkana slag dump by front-end loader and occasionally by drilling and blasting. The material is concentrated through crushing and passing over a magnetic drum. The concentrated slag is then transported 35 kilometres by road to Chambishi Metals, where it is mixed with various reagents such as anthracite, coal and malachite. It is then fed into the COSAC (Cobalt from Slag and Copper as a by-product) furnace, 40 MW DC single solid graphite electrode electric furnace. The resultant cobalt-copper alloy is tapped and routed through the atomiser and pressure leach, where it is made suitable for electrowinning.

- Concentrate received from LCM is roasted to burn off a portion of the sulphur as sulphur dioxide and to change the chemical composition of the concentrate to make it suitable for electrowinning.

Products from the furnace and the roaster are pumped to the electrowinning plant and after processing, copper and cobalt are independently plated and made available for sale as copper sheets and cobalt flakes. Processed copper and cobalt is transported to various commercial destinations in Zambia and to Johannesburg in South Africa, where it is shipped to customers.


April 23, 2012 - CHAMBISHI Copper Smelter (CCS) says it has embarked on an expansion programme in a bid to double its 150,000 tonnes annual production of blister copper.  Speaking when mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa visited the smelter last Wednesday, CCS deputy managing director Du Xing Rong said the increase in its annual production capacity to about 300,000 tonnes of blisters and 340,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid was expected to satisfy rising demand.  Rong said the company was committed to ensuring that the US$300 million dollar worth of investment at the smelter contributes significantly to national development through job creation, remitting statutory revenues and corporate social responsibility.  He said the investors in CCS were also pleased that the smelter was able to produce high quality sulphuric acid as another main product.  "Regarding blister copper, we sell our products to different countries like China, India, South Korea and European countries. These are main consumer centres of copper products in the world while sulphuric acid is sold to various companies within Zambia and the DR Congo," said Rong.  He said CCS had managed to create about 1,000 jobs for Zambians and another 300 indirect jobs through companies contracted to work at the mine.  Rong said the company greatly improved on the copper recovery rate to 98 per cent and the sulphur dioxide recovery rate.  He said due to the good relationship and support CCS enjoyed with other local companies such as Lumwana Mine which was the biggest copper concentrate supplier, Chibuluma and Luanshya (CNMC) mines, management was confident that the company would continue to register significant growth.  And Musukwa said the PF government had highly valued Chinese investment in the country's mining sector.  "We hold this investment in very high esteem because it is coming from nothing. You put up this massive infrastructure and you are processing copper blister from large mining operations. We will support such investments because we want this to add value to our economy and create more jobs," he said.  Musukwa said CCS management should begin to look at other investments that would enable the company to have its own feed for the smelter as a way of creating opportunities for growth.

February 21, 2011 - Chambishi Copper Smelter has embarked on a US$250 million expansion programme at its Copperbelt plant in a bid to double its 150,000 tonnes production of blisters annually starting next year.  Chambishi Copper Smelter deputy chief executive officer Fan Wei told Steel Guru that the increase in its annual production capacity to about 300,000 tonnes of blisters and 340,000 tonnes of sulphuric acid was expected to satisfy rising demand.   He said the company had engaged some state of the art “ISA technology” from Australia to satisfy its customer list that includes Lumwana Copper Mines, Luanshya Mine, NFCA and Chibuluma.  Wei said the expansion program was already on course although he regretted that the company did not have its own mine benefiting from its copper processing plant.  And Chambishi Copper Smelter said it would remain committed to improving its environmental protection measures.  In a recent assessment report to the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), the company stated that it aimed at reducing or maximising on the amount of effluent discharge into the natural environment.   The company said it planned to improve on the copper recovery rate to 98 per cent and the sulphur dioxide recovery rate emitted into the environment to nine per cent.  According to the report, construction of the concentrator unit was underway, comprising a slag cooling system, crusher milling plant, floatation circuits and modification of auxiliary facilities.

February 18, 2010 - Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation PLC (ENRC.LN), said Thursday that it has entered into a conditional agreement to acquire Enya Holdings BV which holds a 90% interest in Chambishi Metals PLC, a Zambian copper and cobalt producer, together with an interest in Comit Resources FZE, a Dubai- based marketing and sales company.

October 23, 2009 - Reuters reported that Zambia's Chinese owned Chambishi smelter plans to double processing capacity for blister copper to 300,000 tonnes in 2010 due to higher demand to use the facility by mining firms.  The government said that smelter capacity in Zambia falls short of demand for processing copper concentrate into blister copper.  Mr Lewis Mulenga spokesman of Chambishi smelter said that “We plan to double production to at least 300,000 tonnes of blister copper in 2010 to do that we will have to expand the plant.”  Foreign mining companies including Kansanshi mine owned by South Africa's Metorex recently joined Equinox Minerals Lumwana mine in using the Chambishi smelter for processing copper concentrate.   Mr Rupiah Banda president of Zambia said that Chambishi a joint venture of China Non-ferrous Metals Corporation and Yunnan Copper Industry was initially treating copper from NFC Africa.  Mr Banda said that the smelter had created more than 600 new jobs in the mining sector, the country's economic lifeblood.

June 22, 2009 - Enya Holdings BV will operate Zambia's largest cobalt producer Chambishi Metals Plc which was shutdown in December last year, mines minister Maxwell Mwale said on Monday.  Chambishi Metals Plc was part of the Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), which also operated the Baluba copper mine.  Before shutting down, Chambishi had planned to spend $354-million to develop the Mulyashi copper project, forecast to produce 60 000 t of copper cathode by 2010.  Chambishi had planned to raise cobalt output to 5 000 tonnes in 2008 from around 3 000 t in 2007 before halting operations due to the fallout of the global economic crisis.  "It is the Enya Holdings Group that will operate Chambishi Metals. They will be importing the raw materials (copper concentrate) from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to produce cobalt," Mwale told Reuters in response to a question about which investor would be handed Chambishi Metals Plc.  Chambishi Metals was processing cobalt from raw materials at its Nkana Slag damps and raw materials from Baluba mine.  Enya Holdings, had interests in both the Bein Stein Group Resources (BSRG) and International Minerals Resources (IRM), the joint owners of LCM before it stopped production.  Mwale said the government and Enya Holdings would conclude a deal for operating Chambishi Metals soon.  China's Nonferrous Metals Corporation was a fortnight ago awarded the right to run the Luanshya copper mines and pledged to invest $400-million to revamp its operations.

February 18, 2009 - Zambia's Chambishi Metals PLC (CHIBM.ZM) could reopen its copper and cobalt smelter following the lifting of a copper concentrates export ban by Congo's Katanga province, the Daily Mail of Zambia reports Wednesday.  The state-owned paper quoted Chambishi Chief Executive Officer Derek Webbstock as saying the smelter is likely to reopen and create more than 1,000 jobs.  Management closed the smelter in December last year citing low global metal prices.  Before its closure, Chambishi smelter had been treating concentrates from the Baluba and Nkana mines in Zambia. According to Webbstock, the company is currently in talks with companies that supply copper concentrate in Zambia and Congo.  An official at Zambia's Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development told Dow Jones Newswires that given current global market conditions, treating imported concentrates would be a cheaper and more efficient option for the closed smelter.   The smelter has the capacity to treat up to 40,000 metric tons of copper a year and 4,000 tons of cobalt. Before its closure it was Zambia's leading cobalt producer.

March 6, 2008 - The Chinese managers of Zambia’s Chambishi Copper Smelter (CCS) agreed on Thursday to reinstate 500 workers who had been sacked, their union said.  “They have assured us that everybody will get back to work and we hope normal operations will resume on Monday,” National Union of Mining and Allied Workers (Numaw) general secretary Albert Mando told Reuters.  “We will then start our salary negotiations again.”  CCS employees went on strike and rioted on Tuesday over pay and work conditions, injuring a Chinese manager and a Zambian.  The incident highlighted tensions between Zambian workers and Chinese managers in the mining industry.   Chambishi Copper Smelter is the first of 50 Chinese companies that plan to invest over $800 million in a tax free zone in Zambia within the next five years, Zambian officials said.

March 5, 2008 - Chinese management of Zambia's Chambishi smelter was in the process on Wednesday of firing more than 500 employees following riots at the plant, a union official said on Wednesday.  The riots on Tuesday highlighted tensions between Zambian workers and Chinese managers in the mining industry -- the country's economic lifeblood -- while Beijing pushes ahead with a relentless investment drive in Africa.  Albert Mando, general secretary of the National Union of Mining and Allied Workers (Numaw), said workers were sent home and dismissal letters were being prepared. He said seven union officials were arrested, which was confirmed by police.  "We have been taken by surprise because the union has been told all the workers, over 500 of them, are in the process of receiving dismissal letters. The workers have been given three days in which to appeal against the dismissals," Mando told Reuters by telephone.  There was no immediate comment from Chambishi's management.  The riots over pay at the smelter on Tuesday injured a Chinese manager and damaged property, officials said. 
Zambia's vast copper mines are a major employer in the southern African country and its leaders are under pressure to show Chinese investment will benefit its 12 million people.  Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa has vowed to fight political opponents who try to limit or frustrate Chinese investments in the mineral-rich southern African nation.  The growing presence of Chinese firms in Zambia has prompted an anti-Chinese backlash in some parts of the country, with the main opposition party accusing Mwanawasa of allowing the Asian newcomers to exploit workers.

China has focused its African ventures on mining companies as well as oil to feed its exploding economy. But it is diversifying into areas such as banking.   The country's investment drive in Africa has drawn fire from Western nations and aid groups, who accuse Beijing of turning a blind eye to misrule, corruption and human rights abuses.  China argues it is spreading prosperity in the world's poorest continent where the West has failed.  The police chief for the restive mineral-rich Copperbelt province, Antonnell Mutentwa, said the seven union officials had been apprehended to help police with investigations.  "We will decide the next course of action after interviewing them and conducting investigations," Mutentwa told Reuters by telephone.   Chambishi Smelter, which will cost more than $200 million to construct, is part of China's planned $900 million investment in the mining town of Chambishi, which the government has turned into a tax-free economic zone to attract Chinese investment.

June 13, 2003 - South African miner Anglovaal Mining (Avmin) concluded an agreement yesterday on the sale of its 90% stake in the Zambian copper-cobalt plant Chambishi Metals to Swiss-based J&W Holding AG and its subsidiary ENYA Holdings BV.   The company says it will now be seeking new project and acquisition opportunities, particularly in South Africa.  It is reported that J&W will pay Avmin $6,5-million for the operations and assume responsibility for $25-million of contingent liabilities related to infrastructure at Chambishi.  In addition, under the terms of the deal, J&W will pay further sums of up to $25-million to Avmin, depending on cobalt prices and production at the metal manufacturer over the next five years.  The sale will result in Avmin taking a write-off of $90-million.  Avmin chairperson Rick Menell said the decision had been taken following an assessment of the impact of the various technical problems that have been experienced at Chambishi, an evaluation of the return on investment and cash flows from the operation and a consideration of the near-term requirement for additional capital investment at the facility.  The decision, he said, was also impacted by the Zambian government’s decision to sell the Baluba and Luanshya copper operations to J&W.  “By disposing of its Chambishi assets, Avmin will be in a position to concentrate on new projects and growth opportunities, and optimise its existing operations,” Menell said.  Over the past few months Avmin has sought to strengthen its financial position through the process of repaying its debt and improve its risk profile as a result of the Chambishi sale.  The Avmin board anticipates that the company will be debt free by August 2003.  “The elimination of debt and the sale of Chambishi substantially reduces the company’s risk exposure, which opens the way for renewed growth in South Africa.  “Avmin can now pursue new projects aggressively and seek strategic acquisitions,” concluded Menell.

MTPD - Metric Tonne per Day           STPD - Short Ton per Day
MTPA - Metric Tonne per Annum      STPA - Short Ton per Annum
SA - Single Absorption
DA - Double Absorption

* Coordinates can be used to locate plant on Google Earth