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Ndola is the third largest city in Zambia, with a population of nearly half a million, as the industrial and commercial center of the Copperbelt, Zambia’s copper-mining region, and capital of Copperbelt Province it is also the commercial capital city of Zambia. After turbulent periods of economic slumps between the 1980s and 2000 where many of its industrial automotive assemblage plants closed it has turned to its production and refinery of the heavy lime deposits in the country to help it regain its former pre-1980 glory.



One of the stalwart companies leading this national mission, Ndola Mine has taken on this responsibility and we spoke with Chief Executive Officer, Abraham Witika regarding this. Ndola Lime Company Limited (NLC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of ZCCM-IH. The Company was originally founded on 10th January 1931 as the Northern Rhodesia Lime Company Limited, pursuant to an agreement between the Rhokana Corporation Limited and Mr. John Owen Wallen, an Ndola Engineer to supply lime to the mines.


dola has huge limestone reserves which are believed to be among the most homogeneous of their kind in the world. Limestone has therefore

become to Ndola’s economy what copper is to the rest of the country, providing much of the wealth and employment. Lime is a major component in the production of cement and an average cement plant getting its lime from limestone and manufacturing a limestone cement will consume well over 80 kg limestone per 100 kg of cement it manufactures.

Early Operations Initial lime burning trials were carried out in wood fired, hollowed-out Anthills at Misundu 16 km North of Ndola close to the Congo border in 1931. The results were good and this led to the construction of underground pot kilns. A second quarry was opened in the late 1930’s at Chipulukusu before the company moved to its present location at Mwatesi in 1962.

Present Operations In 1973 a new Rotary Kiln was commissioned. In 1986 a 500 tonnes per day annular Vertical Kiln was commissioned to cater for increased demand of lime especially at the Tailing Leach Plant in Chingola. Quick limestone consists of 98% calcium carbonate (CaCo3). The rocks are reduced and graded in a series of crusher and vibrating screens and then stored in silos

This announcement appears as a matter of record only.

according to size, either as fluxstone for use in the smelters (0 – 10mm) or as Kilnstone (10 – 35mm) sent to the rotary kiln and 35 – 75mm sent to the Annular Shaft kiln to be further processed into quicklime. 10% of the quicklime produced is further processed into hydrated lime.

Ndola Lime



At one point, Ndola Lime was the sole producer of quick lime in Zambia however the market has changed with a number of rival producers taking up a foothold in the country. Nevertheless, Ndola


Lime took the long awaited arrival of some decent competition as an opportunity to invest in some new developments to even further raise themselves and their offerings. An increase in capacity, expansion of facilities and investment into new technology meant that the headstart they had created since the 1930s was lengthened by a steadily increasing margin. Enhancements to the company’s crushing capacity and concrete

September 2012 As a leading Financial Advisory firm conducting its business in Zambia and Southern Africa in general, iCapital is proud to be associated with the US$85,000,000 Ndola Lime Plant Recapitalization Project in its role of Mandated Lead Arranger and Advisor.

block making facilities, the addition of a new substation, kiln, hydrator and dust abatement system has made it possible for Ndola Lime to further capitalize upon its position as an independent company. Employing over 430 staff, Ndola Lime have invested significantly

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to create a workforce of highly trained employees benefitting from

is further treated to achieve greater purity of sugar solution which is

the most relevant and up-to-date certificates and courses. The

ultimately crystallised and packaged. Much the same as Agricultural

technology used is state of the art and as equipment is updated so

Lime, Hydrated Lime is used in the treatment of water with other

too does the training change to avoid accidents and unnecessary

coagulant aids in the purification process to achieve a clear suspension


and serve as a filter aid. Lime also assists in removal of bacterial and

This is particularly relevant considering the diverse range of

temporary hardness due to the presence of bicarbonates.

products that Ndola Lime offers to its clientele.

Metallurgical Operation Lime, is used in the metal industries operations; fluxstone (10mm to dust) and kilnstone (10-35mm) is

The Products

used in Mine smelters to flux the metal ores to form slag. As Limestone

Agricultural Lime comes from ground lime rock and is used

also improves properties of calcium silicate, it has a lot of use in the

increasingly by famers as it is best for neutralizing acidic soils and

glass industry creating products such as tumblers, glasses and bottles.

improving the workability of soil. Agricultural lime is produced as a

Limestone inhibits chemical attack, making the glass less brittle

by-product in the limestone calcination process in the form of kiln

and stronger and improves appearance and heat shock of glass.

dust and is used in chemical industries and road construction for soil

Interesting, limestone is the lowest cost fluxing material used for

stabilizations, it’s also useful in water treatment, sugar refining and

glass production.

the dehairing of hides. Hydrated Lime is used in PH control, which facilitates precipitation

Future Developments

of cobalt hydroxide from the electrolyte in cobalt production. In the

The firm will be commissioning a new vertical kiln in December

production of sugar from both cane and beets, the crude sugar juice

2013 which will have a production capacity of 500 tonnes per day in

(sucrose) is treated with lime. This forms insolubles that are filtered

order to reach production demands.

to remove phosphatic materials and organic acids. The resulting juice

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Ndola Lime Corporate Brochure Written by Jack Slater