The Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ) has supported the stance taken by Mines Minister Richard Musukwa. The Minister asked Mopani Copper Mines to handover Mindolo North and Central shafts to the government.
This is following the mining company’s announcement about shutting down two of its supposedly uneconomic units; Mindolo North and Central shafts citing that they have long since become redundant with reference to production. The announcement was made earlier on this week.
In a press statement, Mopani stated that management would use the opportunity to channel its efforts towards essential capital projects. These include the Synclinorium concentrator, Mindolo deeps and Henderson shaft in Mufulira.
The move, the miner said, would enable it to focus on achieving both safe and productive outcomes. The miner further reiterated that the decision is a necessary evil that will be vital in the positioning of Mopani for a successful future.
Mathews Muyembe, the EAZ Copperbelt Chairperson says the Association believes that the Zambian government will now be able to offer the closed off mines to local investors who will, in turn, utilise them as opportunities for employment.
This, he added, would assist the citizens in bettering their livelihoods. He was however reproachful of the closing down of the two mines with reference to the lost jobs.
Mr. Muyembe added that the Association attaches immense value to the Copperbelt region, Zambia’s mining hub and that loss of jobs impacts the livelihood of citizens.
Meanwhile, Mr. Muyembe has expressed displeasure at Konkola Copper Mines conduct in delaying payments to suppliers and salaries to staff and their prioritisation of foreign suppliers at the expense of locals.