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The Copper Belt or Copperbelt (usually spelled as one word) is the copper mining area of Zambia, around the towns of Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola, Luanshya and Mufulira. In some contexts it includes the Katangan Copperbelt of the Democratic Republic of Congo, around Lubumbashi, exploiting the same ore body which runs under the border.


The discovery of copper in Zambia by the Western world is owed partly to the celebrated American scout, Frederick Russell Burnham, who in 1895 led and oversaw the massive Northern Territories (BSA) Exploration Co. expedition which established that major copper deposits existed in Central Africa.[1] Along the Kafue River in then Northern Rhodesia, Burnham saw many similarities to copper deposits he had worked in the United States, and he encountered natives wearing copper bracelets.[2] Later, the British South Africa Company built towns along the river a railroad to transport the copper through Mozambique.[3]


  1. ^ Baxter, T.W.; E.E. Burke (1970). Guide to the Historical Manuscripts in the National Archives of Rhodesia. p. 67.  
  2. ^ Burnham, Frederick Russell (1926). Scouting on Two Continents. Doubleday, Page & company. pp. 2; Chapters 3 & 4. OCLC 407686.  
  3. ^ Juang, Richard M. (2008). Africa and the Americas: culture, politics, and history : a multidisciplinary encyclopedia, Volume 2 Transatlantic relations series. ABC-CLIO. p. 1157. ISBN 1851094415.  

Simple English

Copperbelt is a province in the northern part of Zambia. It is named after the copper reserves. It has an area of 31,328 sq km. It occupies the upper portion of the Kafue river basin on the central plateau of southern Africa, 900 to 1,500 m above sea level.

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