WHILE miners gnawed their teeth in anticipation for the finalisation of negotiations over the resumption of Mopani, Konkola Copper Mines and Kasenseli yesterday, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Paul Kabuswe revealed that the process was yet to be completed.
Two weeks ago, Kabuswe told the media that the government would announce the new Mopani investors and give a stance on the way forward with KCM by July 3.
However, the minister said in a press briefing yesterday that the process is yet to be completed because the government wants the best deal, which would carter for the well-being of the Zambian economy and the people of Zambia.
“…We have to get what is best for you, the Zambian people,” he said.
Kabuswe explained that government held a meeting with relevant stakeholders and the meeting was progressive though not conclusive.
As a result, the expected announcement regarding finality for both Mopani and KCM was not made.
However, the mines minister pledged to keep updating the nation through out the process with every development.
He emphasized the government’s commitment to sanitize the Ministry of Mines to ensure that the country benefits more from its resources.
Kabuswe acknowledged the challenges faced by the mining sector, including leakages, and assured that the newly established Minerals Commission would address these issues.
According to the minister, the commission will regulate the mining sector, especially the production and sell of precious metals such as sugilite, gold and copper to ensure that operations are run without any deceit.
Addressing past neglect in following the law, the minister vowed that the current administration would strictly adhere to the Mines and Minerals Act.
“Zambia has sufficient laws to regulate mining companies’ behavior, and the government will ensure that companies act in accordance with these laws,”Kabuswe stated.
It is reported that the civil society had planned a protest over the delayed resumption of the mines.
But the minister called for patience assuring the public that the government is working towards a solution that will benefit the people of the Copperbelt and address concerns raised by civil society.
By Buumba Mwitumwa
Kalemba August 1, 2023