Mopani Coppers mines plans to create more than 4,000 jobs after the sinking of three shafts at a cost of US$1.1 billion, Mopani Chief Executive Officer Johan Jensen has said.
And Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili says the project was a clear demonstration of the confidence that Glencore had in the Zambian economy under the leadership of President Edgar Lungu.
Mr Jensen said the shafts would be dug in Kitwe at Mindola, Synclinorum and Mufulira deep.
He also said the mining firm had designed a WAY strategy to enhance efficiency and profitability.
Mr Jensen was speaking in Kitwe during the launch of the Mopani Way industrial theatre presentation at the little theatre.
And Mr. Kambwili urged all stakeholders mainly the employees, union leaders and contractors to support Mopani Copper mines.
He said there was still hope in the mining industry despite the recent retrenchments which took place.
Mr Kambwili said the mining sector would continue to play a major role in the country’s economy.
He said Mopani had invested US$1.1 billion on the sinking of the synclinorium shaft at Nkana, and the other two shafts at Mindola and Mufulira. “Mopani has invested US$1.1billion on the sinking of the three shafts at Nkana, Mindola and in Mufulira. US$1.1billion is a lot of money, it shows that they have confidence in the PF government. If they had no confidence in the government, they would not have put up this huge investment.
“This investment also shows that all hope is not lost in the mining industry despite the retrenchments that took place early this year. The investment which Mopani is putting in these shafts will result in the creation of employment. These shafts will need engineers and others to work,” Mr Kambwili said.
He said the future of Copper Mining in Zambia was bright and those politicians who were speaking ill about the PF government should be ashamed that investors had continued to invest in Zambia.
Mr Kambwili said the PF government would always strive to create a sound relationship with investors in the mining sector and other areas so that the stage for economic recovery was firmly set.
“Let me assure you, that as the PF government, we will always set a firm stage for economic recovery. For those opposition leaders trying to paint a bad picture about the PF government, they should be ashamed,” he said.
Earlier, Mine manager Jonathan Sikana said the synclinorium shaft at Nkana was one of the expansion projects at Nkana.
He said the shaft was the future of Mopani and once commissioned, it would be producing four million tonnes per annum.
“By 2018, it will be fully operational. It is the expansion project of MCM. It will be producing four million tonnes and was expected to operate for the next 25years,” Mr Sikana said.