Kemcore Strengthens Its Position As The Top Supplier of Sulphuric Acid In The Copperbelt (DRC /Zambia)

Kemcore Strengthens Its Position As The Top Supplier of Sulphuric Acid In The Copperbelt (DRC /Zambia)

Kemcore has demonstrated its position as the leading supplier of bulk Sulphuric Acid to the copper belt- Zambia and DR Congo by delivering 4 000 tons in July and August.

Kemcore entered the bulk acid supply business by winning supply contracts with mines in Zambia/SADC for Nitric acidHydrochloric acid, and Sulphuric acid since 2014.

The sulphuric acid market in the Copperbelt is very dynamic with most production coming from the smelters. The copper sector is also the largest consumer of Sulphuric acid.  However, because of routine smelter shutdowns and lack of raw materials, there has been a shortage of sulphuric acid on the market. Historically most DRC mining sites have relied on supplies from Zambia. But with Zambia struggling to keep up with its own demand, there has been lack of Sulphuric Acid to supply to DRC.

The copper industries consume large quantities of S. Acid, thus it is a challenge to import from overseas suppliers. This issue is exacerbated by the lack of storage facilities at neighboring ports. As a result, Kemcore sources its S. Acid from manufacturers in South Africa. We have solved the issued of logistics by partnering with Grindrod and Transnet Freight Rail and Zambia Rail to transport large quantities at a time.

“We have secured orders in excess 10,000 tons to be delivered throughout December to the DRC. We are getting creative with our multi modal logistics solutions in order to deliver on these volumes” says Calisto Radithipa, the Sales Director of Kemcore.

Production Facilities

Kemcore markets Sulphuric acid produced from South Africa from Foskor plants and ACP owned and operated by parent company Anglo. This supply position is complemented by other sources in the Zambia when supply capacity allows. Kemcore’s multi-modal distribution network includes 40 Transnet Sulphuric rail tanks, 100 ISO tankers which deliver more than 60,000 tons of sulphuric acid annually to customers in the copper belt region.

Product Quality

Product quality is a top priority, and Kemcore regularly supplies Sulphuric acid with a purity of 98%, which meet the copper industry requirements.  Each plant has its own analytical laboratory for quality monitoring and the preparation of certificates of analysis for acid shipments. All plants use equipment specifically tailored to sulphuric acid analytical methods such as ultrasonic concentration measurement, colorimetric determination, atomic absorption analysis, inductively coupled plasma analysis, and wet chemical analytical procedures.

Logistics and Supply - Our Multi Modal Solution


The sulphuric acid marketed and distributed by Kemcore is transported either by tank truck, tank car or ISO tank. Only personnel who are properly trained in safety requirements and handling procedures appropriate to their duties should be allowed to handle this product.

Rail Tank Cars

Kemcore uses top-discharge tank cars for rail shipments.

All tank cars are non-pressure or general service cars, with below specifications: Class XS-10 (XSD-10, XSJ-10) wagons entered service in 1971 and are designed to transport sulphuric acid.

Number range 43 501 664 to 43 501 923,

Length between couplers 12.771m,
Length over headstocks 11.887m,
Length between bogie pivot centres 8.535m,
Height 3.632m, Width 2.115m, Tank diameter 1.753m,

Tare (average) 23,270kg, Load 50,490kg, Capacity 27,440l (full) and 27,440l (sulphuric acid).

Rail tank Cars used by Kemcore have a capacity of 55-60 tons and are constructed of fusion-welded steel. They have a baked phenolic interior coating to maintain product quality and protect the interior of the railcar against corrosion. Tank cars used for shipping 98% acid are usually insulated and can be steam coiled for winter service

Sulphuric Acid offloading from rail tankers into storage tanks in Zambia.

Delivery Lead times 

In order to optimise our deliveries, we have reduced transit times by up to 50%!

Our new lead times to the Copperbelt is 10-15 days including loading at the factory.


 Activity Transit time Operator
Loading to Beitbridge  3-4 days  South Africa- TFR
 Beitbridge to Victoria Falls  5-6 days  Zimbabwe- NLPI
 Victoria Falls to Chambishi  4-5 days.  Zambia- ZRL



With the capability to ship by truck, rail, or ISO tanks. Kemcore is able to provide responsive, reliable and flexible product supply backed by superior service and support. If you are in the Copperbelt region and looking for Sulphuric Acid end to end supply solution, please contact us.