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Govt eyes revamping Chambishi metals


GOVERNMENT says it will engage stakeholders and other mining companies to find ways of  revamping operations at Chambishi Metals plant.

Chambishi Metals has been closed for close two years now.

The plant was the only firm supplying gypsum to cement companies and following the putting of the plant on care and maintenance, had led to some cement companies not getting the product.

Commerce Minister Chipoka Mulenga said with the booming copper and cobalt prices on the international market, it was important for the government to put modalities in place to revamp the plant.

He said this would also help bring back the more than 1,500 people that it could employ once in full operation.

Mr Mulenga said government would engage other mining companies within the country that were extracting exporting cobalt and copper ores in order for the them to support the  running of the plant with feed stock.

“I am however concerned that Zambia has continued to export and process cobalt and copper ore when the  country has been emphasising  on the need to  promote value addition.

“It is worrying that we have allowed an important plant like Chambeshi Metals to close. Going forward, government will engage stakeholders and other mines to see how we can revamp the plant especially with the booming copper and cobalt prices on the international market,” he said.

Mr Mulenga added that his Ministry would not allow valuable companies like Chambishi Metals to remain closed amid high demand of employment among the youths in the country.

He said that government would focus on setting up value addition plants to help create job’s and revenue.

And Chambishi Metals general Manager Watson Lumbwe said there was no one else who could provide copper and cobalt concentrate in the country at the moment and thereby making it difficult for the plant to operate as it had to rely on feed from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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