‘DON’T GAMBLE WITH MINES’
By JOHN KOMBE
HE new dawn government should not gamble with the future of KCM and Mopani by prioritising interests of imperialists as they work to find a way forward on issues surrounding the two giant mines, Green Party president, Peter Sinkamba has said.T
Director of Mines, Fred Banda, who could not comment further said the government would soon give its position on the matter.
Mr Sinkamba advised the new dawn government to give policy direction on the future of Mopani and KCM, stating that the lack of policy direction is a matter of great concern.
He said that it was worrying that the government has been quiet on the matter and yet it made several promises to revitalise KCM and Mopani.
Mr Sinkamba said that it was worrying that both the minister of Finance and the President did not give any hint on how it was going to ensure that the mining sector actualises the projected increased copper production.
He observed that during the presentation of the 2022 national budget the Minister of Finance projected an increase of copper production to about three million metric tonnes without stating how this was going to be attained.
Mr Sinkamba said that even the Republican President did not state government position on the matter during his inaugural speech to parliament, a thing he said was shocking.
He wondered why the government was mute on the matter and yet it had promised to ensure that the mines were revitalised.
Mr Sinkamba said that this was disappointing because it was supposed to be one of the first undertakings of the current government. He therefore advised the government to state its policy direction on the matter.
He hoped that the government would keep the two mines in government hands and pointed out that Mopani Copper Mine in particular was making profits and he saw no reason for the government to abandon a profitable entity.
According to Mr. Sinkamba, the fact that Mopani had made profit in the last one year and had managed to pay terminal benefits to its workers was proof that the company was viable and can be sustained.
He said that keeping the mines in government hands had far reaching benefits if well managed.
He also advised the government to consider revitalising other firms such as Chambishi Metals which was a key player in the mining sector.