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ZCCM-IH begin manganese mine works in Serenje

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

ZCCM Investment Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) has commenced the manganese mining operations at its subsidiary Kabundi Resources Limited (KRL) in Serenje at the cost of K18.6 million.

Works at the manganese mine in Serenje have commenced following the end of the heavy rains that had hampered the operations, posing a challenge in accessing the mine site areas, chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata said in a statement yesterday.

Mr Chipata said KRL have started phase one of the project in the small-scale mining license, with an initial capital injection of K18.6 million.

He said KRL projects to mine 60,000 tonnes of manganese by the end of year during the ramp up period of operation.

Production is targeted to reach 240,000 tonnes of manganese ore annually once commercial production is achieved.

Mr Chipata said phase two of the project which was scheduled to start before the onset of this year’s rainy season will be extended to other areas of the ZCCM-IH large scale exploration area in Serenje.

At the end of April 2020, Mr Chipata undertook a site visit and also inspected works at the Kampumbu Resettlement area earmarked for relocation of nine households from the Kabundi mine site. 

The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Services (ZEMA) involves the construction of an additional one-by-two classroom block, a health center, nine-by-three bedroomed houses for the relocation of the project affected families, one house for a teacher, and another house for a medical staff. 

These buildings will also be serviced and fully connected with piped water sourced from water boreholes to be drilled in the area.

Mr Chipata was happy with the progress made both at the mining operation and the RAP sites. 

He said the mine would be fully operational by July 2020, and looked forward to having it officially launched by August 2020. 

ZCCM-IH will spend a total of K4.5 million to fulfil the RAP obligations, which are scheduled to be handed over to the beneficiaries in June 2020.

The RAP project has so far employed over 20 locals. 

KRL will further employ over 150 youths at the mine site as production scales up upon relocation of the affected families. 

The Company is a strategic investment aimed at diversifying the commodity mix of the ZCCM-IH’s portfolio which is largely comprised of copper producing assets.

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