Copper King in Central Africa offers a detailed account of the corporate history of the Rhokana/Rokana Corporation and its Nkana mine. Thematically and chronologically organised, it explores the discovery of viable ores on the Northern Rhodesian/Zambian Copperbelt in the late 1920s, which attracted foreign capital from South Africa, Britain and the USA, prompting the development of the Nkana mine and the formation of the Rhokana Corporation in the early 1930s. It follows through the evolution of the copper mining industry up to the re-privatisation of the Zambian mining sector in 1991.
The book ties into a single narrative the disparate themes of corporate organisation, labour relations, and profitability of Rhokana, demonstrating how the firm was, for a time, the most important mining entity in the Northern Rhodesian/Zambian mining industry. Rhokana was both an investment firm on the Copperbelt and a mining company through Nkana mine. Thus, the Corporation was central to the development and profitability of the copper industry in Zambia. Its corporate and labour policies influenced the Copperbelt as a whole. Employing the largest labour force in the mining sector, Rhokana spearheaded the labour movement on the Copperbelt. Its Nkana mine was also the largest producer of copper in the Northern Rhodesian mining industry between 1940 and 1953, and contributed hugely to the war economies of Britain and the USA. Throughout its history, Nkana was also a major source of cobalt. After nationalisation of the mining sector in 1970, Rhokana surrendered its investments in the wider copper industry, but remained central to the Copperbelt’s smelting and refining operations, owning the biggest metallurgical facilities in the industry.
Chapter 1. Introduction and Background
Chapter 2. Rhokana/Nkana During the Great Depression: Problems and Challenges
Chapter 3. Financial Incentives of War: Rhokana/Nkana During the Second World War and Korean Crisis, 1939–1953
Chapter 4. Rhokana/Nkana and the Political Economy of the Central African Federation, 1953–1963
Chapter 5. Zambianisation and Nationalisation: Rhokana/Nkana During the First Five Years of Zambian Independence, 1964–1969
Chapter 6. Rokana/Nkana During the First and Second Phase of Nationalisation
Chapter 7. Rokana/Nkana During the Third Phase of Nationalisation, 1982–1991
Chapter 8. Conclusion
Notes on Currencies and Weights
List of Abbreviations and Acronyms