Goodbye debt, hello growth! Zambia flips the script with Mopani relaunch


A BRIGHTER future is on the horizon for Zambia as the revitalised Mopani Copper Mine promises a boost to the economy offering 2,000 direct jobs and an additional 1,000 indirect employment opportunities.

Indeed, Zambia has positioned itself in the driver’s seat as President Hakainde Hichilema relaunched Mopani Copper Mines (MCM).

President Hichilema said the relaunch was not a handover but a meticulously negotiated partnership with the International Resource Holdings (IRH) from Abu Dhabi.

President Hichilema stated that Zambians should feel proud that the country is retaining a 49 percent shareholding through ZCCM -IH which affirms the Government’s commitment to national benefit.

The Head of State said this during the unveiling ceremony yesterday on the Copperbelt.

He revealed that the US$1.1 billion from IRH marks a significant milestone being the first substantial investment from the UAE in Zambia.

“Mopani is a prized asset for the government and the people of Zambia. It is the rejuvenation of Kitwe, mufulira, this ssset takes a new turn towards better days,” reiterated the President.

“Zambians, feel proud that you are retaining 49 percent in Mopani. You are still the owners of the mine and you will still participate in the management of the mine. So let there be national pride.”

President Hichilema further disclosed that
the reopening of the mine will also see a substantial debt reduction in the country which his government inherited.

He explained that part of the debt mountain the country was dealing with was a part of Mopani which is US$1.5 billion induced by the previous regime.

The Head Of State confirmed that with this transaction the copper production for Mopani will scale up to 230,000 metric tonnes which will bring about more opportunities .

“There will be more jobs and security of tenure for the people who work there. your jobs were fragile because you could lose a job any time,” he stated.

The President revealed that Mopani has initiated a Supplier Development Program aimed at bolstering the capacity of Zambian suppliers by providing access to capital and business development services.

Meanwhile, Minister Of Mines and Minerals Paul Kabuswe said the revitalised mine will generate 2,000 direct jobs and an additional 1,000 indirect employment opportunities.

Kabuswe stated that one of the reasons for the revitalisation is to ensure that the local people are promoted.

“Zambia is in a process of giving birth. And today it has given birth to Mopani. This is fixing it,” he said.

By Catherine Pule

Kalemba, March 22, 2024


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