A ZAMBIAN businessman has offered to invest $10 million in the country’s gold-mining sector.
Bupe Chipando holds the opinion that Zambians must be allowed to manage the mines on a large scale, saying the country’s rich deposit of minerals was the backbone of its economy.
Born and bred in Kabwe in Central Province, Chipando is the founder and chief executive officer of Alinani Precious Metals, a mining company based in East Africa which has over the years established itself as in important player in gold mining, refinery and smelter across Africa.
Chipando asserts that a gold mine in the hands of the local people would grant investment returns to build schools, hospitals and roads in the country, arguing that if given to foreigners, profits would be sent abroad to benefit other countries.
He said Zambians did not need an investor with relatively little investment commitments to be given the sole mandate to run the gold mining industry whereas these little investment commitments could be organised and easily matched by locals within Zambia with the expertise and financial muscle to run the mines.
Alinani Precious Metals Ltd is a mining company registered under First Group of Companies in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with First Line Capital as an investment company, First Commodity Exchange works as a market platform, while First Cargo Logistics provides transportation products under one umbrella.
“We need to talk and dialogue with the government, for we know our government is willing to listen to us. Alinani Precious Metals, as a Zambian owned company if given a chance, we are willing to pledge between $5 million to $10 million as an investment in the vast gold mining sector. We are confident that this is something we can implement. We don’t need investors to inject $2.5 million and get the largest stake in our mining sector at the expense of our very able local investors,” Chipando said.
He said Alinani Precious Metals had the capacity to produce and refine about 300 kilograms of gold per day with the state-of-the-art equipment and machinery.
He said given an opportunity to invest in the gold mining, the company would create decent jobs for the ever increasing unemployed graduates from the University of Zambia.
“We commit to give Zambians the first priorities to the available job opportunities we will immediately create. We believe University of Zambia has produced competent manpower to run the mines and it is for this reason that we will partner with the University of Zambia to enroll graduate programmes where graduates can learn from our activities in the mines,” Chipando said.
“Besides providing jobs to the unemployed Zambian graduates, we pledge to enrol vibrant community social responsibility programmes which will be mandated to give back to the community by participating in the developmental activities of the area. We pledge to build hospitals, schools, roads, sports facilities and other developmental activities.”
Chipando said it was high time that Zambians were given the opportunity and platform to own, operate and run the vast mining industry for the benefit of the local people.
He said Zambia’s rich mineral resources were the country’s birthright which ought to be managed by its people.
“We like the investors and we appreciate them but we want this issue of exploitation of the Zambian mineral resources to be exhaustively addressed. We want to demonstrate to the country and the world at large that as Zambians, we are able to control our own minerals and metals. We want to prove that we have the expertise and manpower to control our own mining industry which will consequently have great economic and social benefits to the Zambians as it is no secret that mining forms the backbone of the Zambian economy,” Chipando said.
“We don’t want people to come from the rest of the world only to pay a few millions here and there and later take away all the billions they make in profits and invest in their own countries, a trend which has been seen to gain momentum here in Zambia. We want the metals and minerals we have in Zambia to benefit each and every Zambian because, you know that is our birthright. It is our birthright to fully enjoy the benefits that are attached to the mining industry in Zambia. Now that we have discovered gold, it is important that a clear strategy is developed so that we fully benefit from this new discovery. All in all, we should be able to utilise all the mineral resources available for the benefit of the Zambians.”
He said given a chance, his vast experience in the gold mining industry as well as his commitment to invest $10 million dollars would have a great impact to the entire country.
“We understand the work involved and acknowledge that we have an enormous task ahead of us but with the capital and the great experience at our disposal, together with the government support we will most certainly achieve what we set ourselves to achieve,” said Chipando.
©Kalemba June 17, 2020