By ROGERS KALERO
GOVERNMENT should find two different investors to take over Mopani Copper Mine units in Mufulira and Kitwe, miners have proposed.
Glencore, the major shareholders in Mopani, has placed the mine under care and maintenance despite Government insisting that the move was illegal.
The miners said giving two units to one investor could be devastating to the country’s economy and to the miners, if an investor holding the licence for both units decided to pull out.
If the one of the two investors decided to leave, they observed, the number of miners to be affected and the impact on the economy would not be as much.
Stanslous Mukupa, an operator at South ore body shaft, said the Mopani saga was a learning point for Government to split units in future privatisation.
He said, therefore, that Government must repossess the units from Glencore now and hand them to two credible investors.
“From whatever has happened, there is a lesson to learn and as miners we think from this development, Government should learn a lesson of not giving two units to one investor,” Mr Mukupa said.
Another miner, Trevor Chisenga, said Mopani management had been sweet talking miners and Zambians in general into believing that it was contributing to the country’s development, but the actions were opposite and ill conceived.
He said Mopani management had drilled a synclinorium shaft and invited President Edgar Lungu to commission it with the promise that it would last for 25 years, but suddenly changed the stance.
It was for this reason, he said, that Government should repossess the assets and give them to two different investors such that when one operator decided to relocate, the other one would still be mining.
Mr Chisenga said Mopani did not mean well for Zambians and should go and leave miners in peace.
“But before they can go, they should give us, our money. Glencore has not been a good investor. It has always been problematic from as far as 2015
“Other mining companies are working with Government to fight covid-19, but they want to use covid-19 to leave Zambia, what kind of an investor is Glencore?” Mr Chisenga wondered.
By ROGERS KALERO