Govt to repossess Nkana slug heap

Mines Deputy Minister, Richard Musukwa, second LEFT
Mines Deputy Minister, Richard Musukwa, second LEFT

THE Government has resolved to repossess the Nkana copper slug heap in Kitwe from Chambishi Metals because the mining firm has failed to develop the structure into a meaningful mineral resource.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa said in Ndola that the Government had given Chambishi Metals ample time to develop the facility but to date, the slug heap is only used for illegal copper mining activities.
“The manner in which Chambishi metals are running the dump site is interfering with environmental regulations and promoting illegal mining.
“The slug heap has no meaningful resource and in its current form, is only causing harm to the surrounding community which is involved in illegal mining activities,” Mr Musukwa said.
He said the slug heap had no meaningful copper resource left to go beyond a period of five years and Government would repossess it for the surrounding community to operate.
“Chambishi Metals has neglected to develop the Nkana slug heap and Government will repossess it for the community to manage within the few years of its remaining lifespan,” Mr Musukwa said.
The deputy minister said the slug heap could be developed using simple technology and the Government would do it  through the Mines Safety Department.
Mr Musukwa said though the state policy was to run the mines on a private sector-led model, Government was interested  to see to it that mining companies develop projects like the Nkana copper slug.
He said when a facility such as the Nkana slug heap is wasted, it became a liability that deprived Zambia of employment and wealth.
Efforts to get a comment from Chambishi Metals proved futile as the mobile phone to the  only press contact at the mining firm went unanswered.