MINES Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma has expressed Government’s satisfaction with Mopani Copper Mines’ continued investment and operations in the country.
Mr Yaluma said it was gratifying that MCM had continued to invest in expansion projects such as the US$323 million synclinorium shaft being sank at Nkana Mine in Kitwe, which when completed would extend the lifespan of the mine.
He said this yesterday when he toured MCM’s Nkana and Mufulira plants to familiarise himself with the company’s operations.
Mr Yaluma said the intention by MCM to extend the lifespan of the mine by 25 years through its synclinorium project would go a long way in boosting the country’s economy.
He said this would provide jobs for the people of Kitwe and Zambia at large and at the same time improve the livelihoods of the town.
“I am thrilled with what I am seeing at Mopani because what the company is doing is exactly what we felt should be done as Government.
“We at one time felt we would be restricted to a certain level in terms of copper production but we are seeing that there is going to be more production going forward,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said Mopani was contributing largely to the growth of the country’s economy.
He appreciated the efforts being made in improving the safety standards in the company’s operations which was cardinal to increased production.
The minister urged MCM management to maintain high safety standards as they carry out their operations.
Mr Yaluma challenged the entire mining industry to emulate MCM’s gesture of investing in expansion projects.
“MCM has put in so much investment in the project and as Government we appreciate that,” Mr Yaluma said.
He called on Mopani not to hesitate in bringing to Government’s attention matters the company wanted addressed.
MCM operations manager Johan Jansen said tremendous progress had been in the synclinorium project which was earmarked for commissioning in January 2014.
He said so far, the shaft had been sank to a level of 900 meters out of the earmarked 1, 200 meters deep.