EAZ wants Mopani to surrender Mindolo shafts to preserve jobs

By Staff Reporter

ECONOMICS Association of Zambia (EAZ) has joined calls for Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to surrender Mindolo north and central shafts as they have failed to run them.

Mines minister Ricahard Musukwa last week asked MCM to surrender. The two shafts to local investors, in an effort to protect the interest of Zambians by protecting jobs and ensuring the export of the minerals was not disrupted.

He said that the decision and reasoning for MCM to suspend operations and put the shafts under care and maintenance was at variance with the interest of government.

Earlier last week MCM management announced the shutting down of two of Mindolo north and central shafts as they had become uneconomical.

Mopani in a press release stated that management would focus on essential capital projects which include the Synclinorium concentrator, Mindolo deeps and Henderson shaft in Mufulira.

The mining conglomerate said this would enable it to focus on achieving both safe and productive outcomes which are essential to position Mopani for a successful future.

However, EAZ copperbelt chapter chairperson Mathews Muyembe said the association believed that the move would allow the Zambian government to offer the shafts to local investors.

Muyembe said this will assist the citizenry in bettering their livelihoods through mining the little minerals that are left in the dumps.

He said the EAZ bemoans the loss of jobs this operational shut down will result in especially that it is coming a little earlier than anticipated.

Muyembe added that the Association attached immense value to the Copperbelt region which is Zambia’s mining hub and that loss of jobs impacts the livelihood of citizens.

Meanwhile, 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.

He noted that the mine was on record for paying foreign suppliers upfront while locals were given 90-120 days or more grace period.

Muyembe said the EAZ board finds it very frustrating that KCM always arm twists the authorities at every opportunity.

Muyembe emphasised that Zambia remains a favourable mining destination that most international investors had expressed immense interest.