Gearing Up for Growth in Zambia

Gearing Up for Growth in Zambia

Publication: Construction World
Issue: November 2, 2021

Knight Piésold has been providing engineering and environmental consultancy services to Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Plc for the past seven years. The consulting engineering firm was founded in Johannesburg 100 years ago and today operates in 15 countries.

Knight Piésold Zambia is currently involved with MCM’s Mufulira Tailings Dam No. 11 (TD11) Buttress Design Project, where it is responsible for site investigations - seismic cone penetration tests with pore pressure measurements, rotary core drilling and test pitting. In addition, the firm is conducting stability and seepage analysis; dam break analysis; installing monitoring instrumentation; designing the buttress; and acting as construction supervisor.

Patrick Kampengele, Managing Director for Knight Piésold Zambia, says the firm’s ongoing relationship with Mopani Copper Mines illustrates the confidence the client has in the quality of work being produced.

In recent years, Knight Piésold’s Zambia office has expanded its range of sub-consultants and sub-contractors, as well as recruited additional staff as it positions itself to meet the country’s growing demand for engineering and environmental services.

“The future for the Zambian mining industry is looking very positive, particularly given the current high price for commodities such as copper,” says Kampengele. “Globally, the demand for copper is predicted to remain high, which augurs well for continued high prices and benefits the economy through greater forex inflows, therefore, stimulating economic growth.”

Zambia, Africa’s second largest producer of copper, is increasingly leaning towards beneficiating copper and other minerals. This, says Kampengele, will have a positive impact on job creation in the country.

Kampengele expects increased investment into the Zambian mining sector in the coming years. “Greater activity in the mining sector represents an exciting opportunity for Knight Piésold given that we anticipate that we will be providing additional specialised services to these new mines and expansion projects at the existing mines,” he says.

Other sectors showing significant potential are infrastructure and energy. Kampengele says increased mining activity will inevitably also result in greater demand for power and infrastructure such as roads, housing, water and sanitation.

“Knight Piésold has been providing engineering and environmental services to the majority of mining companies in Zambia for several years already. In addition, we have a long history of providing consultancy services to power producers in the country, most recently the refurbishment and upgrading of two small hydropower stations as well as a greenfield 15MW hydropower station.”

He reveals that the firm has also consulted to government ministries and was recently involved in the rehabilitation and upgrading of part of the Great East Road in Lusaka.  In addition, the firm  recently assisted the government of Zambia with the rehabilitation and closure design of a tailings storage facility and an overburden dump in the Copperbelt province.

Knight Piésold, a Zambian firm which benefits from access to wide range of specialists  from its global expertise, has a good understanding of the local operating environment and is able to provide cost-effective solutions to clients, says Kampengele.

Read the article on Construction World.