Solwezi in Zambia
Solwezi in Zambia might be perceived as a dusty little town but it is most definitely on the rise. It is one of seven districts in North Western Province and the provincial capital.
Solwezi is attracting international interest mainly for its mining opportunities. Fueled by the international interest, there is of course serious local interest! People are attracted to the growing town of Solwezi for employment and business opportunities. There is an extensive range of construction work taking place, mainly catering to the business travel sector, with many hotels, lodges and guest houses springing up.
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Solwezi, Zambia and the mining industry
Kansanshi mine is in Solwezi, Zambia. It is the largest copper mine in Africa with two open pits, mainly producing copper and gold. The Kansanshi mine is owned and operated by a First Quantum subsidiary, Kansanshi Mining PLC.
Kalumbila Mine is the newest mine in Solwezi, Zambia. It is also known as the Trident project which is made up of the Sentinel mine and the Enterprise nickel project. It is also owned and operated by First Quantum Minerals which approved its construction in 2012. Construction of this Solwezi mine was completed in 2014 and the first production of minerals was achieved in 2015.
The Lumwana mine in Solwezi, Zambia is operated by Barrick Gold corporation which produced 287 million pounds of copper in 2015. It also produce cobalt, gold and uranium. Although Lumwana Mine was discovered in 1961, no serious mining was done there until Equinox Minerals Ltd became involved in 1999. Equinox was then bought by Barrick Gold.
Airports servicing Solwezi in Zambia are in Solwezi and Mwinilunga. There is the T5 main road and a new railway line is planned. This will be a 290km long new railway line connecting Chingola to the Solwezi mines, Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila. The idea is to provide better transport of minerals within Zambia.
Solwezi growth sectors
After the reopening of Kansanshi and Lumwana mine, Solwezi is attracting other sectors to the area. With the high growth population, Solwezi boasts growth opportunities for:
- Construction – Solwezi has shortages of houses, schools and shops
- Retail – in fact the construction of Solwezi City Mall, will be Zambia’s largest mall
- Financial institutions – like banks and insurance
- Education – there is a shortage of schools
According to the national census in 2000, Solwezi has a population of around 266,000 people. The largest tribe in Solwezi is the Kaonde but there are also large numbers of people from the Lunda and Luvale tribe. Solwezi has a growing mix of people from all over Zambia, surrounding African countries and international countries.
There are two main attractions in Solwezi. The Kifubwa Stream Rock Shelter has engravings dating back to the late stone age inhabitants of Solwezi. The second attraction is the Mutanda River with Mutanda falls and rapids.
There are many established businesses in Solwezi. You can view some of them above.