Friday, March 1, 2024

Patriotic Front, MUZ back State decision on mine assets

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Kasama central MP Saviour Chishimba (l) and his counterpart from Roan Chishimba Kambwili
Kasama central MP Saviour Chishimba (l) and his counterpart from Roan Chishimba Kambwili

Two Patriotic Front (PF) parliamentarians have welcomed Government’s order for Glencore to surrender assets of Mopani Copper Mine in Mufulira and Nkana Copper Mine in Kitwe to enable the two companies to continue operating.

Roan member of Parliament (MP), Chishimba Kambwili and his Kasama Central counterpart, Saviour Chishimba, said Government should infact confiscate the assets from the investor to prevent further job losses in the mining sector.

The duo was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when they staged a two-man protest against impending job losses in the mines at the Mass Media complex.

“Government should not only ask Glencore to surrender assets but it should confiscate the assets and start running the mines,” he said.

Mr Kambwili said the duo would on Friday visit mining companies on the Copperbelt to assess the situation on the ground.

Meanwhile the Mine Workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has also welcomed Government’s move to order Glencore to surrender assets of Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in Mufulira and Nkana Copper Mine in Kitwe.

This follows the decision by the mines’ investor to suspend operations and place the companies under care and maintenance until copper prices return to US$5,500 per tonne.

Glencore, which runs operations of MCM and Nkana, recently presented their plans to Government.

MUZ general secretary Oswell Munyenyembe said Government should not backpedal on its decision saying there was need to ensure that the assets of the mines were intact and protected from stripping.

He said a vacuum must not be created in the mines between the investors leaving and those who wanted to take over the operations.

“We welcome the move by the government to order Glencore to surrender the assets.

We believe that government and some Zambians have the capacity to run the operations of the mines. When Anglo American Corporation pulled out of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Government was running the mine until it found an investor,” he said.

Mr Munyenyembe said mining companies were still making profits from the current copper prices at the international market.

“We still believe that these mining companies are still making profits and these job losses can be avoided,” he said.

Mr Munyenyembe said there was need to protect the assets from being removed from mines that were being placed under care and maintenance.

On Friday, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Maxwell Mwale said in Lusaka that Glencore should surrender assets of the two mines to ensure continued operations and avoid further job losses in the mining sector.

Mr Mwale said government would not allow a situation in which current mine owners only wanted to manage profitable mines and left the unprofitable firms under care and maintenance.

In the case of MCM, Glencore has also informed government about its intention to halt operations of the mine due to the high cost of underground mining and its short life span.
[ Zambia Daily Mail]

26 COMMENTS

  1. Let the (reapers) investors go & leave us in peace. Their interest is copper which they have already done. We can do it our Zambian way. Government should simply nationalise all those companies being closed. Let RB get down to business instead of just clowning before rented or hired cadres.

  2. Excellent. The government and workers should look into the concept of Worker Owned Enterprises. Examples would be the BAUEN hotel in Argentina, or the Tower Colliery coal mine in Wales (see: Welsh Colliery that defied Thatcher finally closes), which operated for 14 years under worker ownership until the mine was exhausted. The government should assist the miners in drawing up a business plan that could attract financing, use it’s connections with the African Development Bank for the mine to get loans (instead of giving away ownership and profit for cash) and generally facilitate the enterprise. Let the workers and middle management run it.

    • 1)
      Reception celebrates the inspirational story of the Tower miners

      The First Minister said:

      When British Coal closed Tower prematurely in 1994 under the misguided colliery closure programme, the miners led by Tyrone O’Sullivan were convinced that Tower had coal reserves left that could be profitably mined.

      Instead of sitting back and accepting the decision they fought back in the best way possible – by investing their redundancy money and buying the mine.

      The miners at Tower proved British Coal wrong in a spectacular fashion. Since reopening the mine in 1995, they have produced 600,000 tonnes of coal per year with an annual turnover of £300 million.

    • They generated their own electricity, using methane produced naturally in the mine to produce enough power for 16,000 homes. Not only was Tower self-sufficient in electricity, it even exported surplus power to the National Grid.

      The phoenix-like resurrection of Tower Colliery has given us all the confidence to take our own destiny into our own hands in Wales. I’m sure that many new companies have been started by people who were spurred into action after being enthused by the Tower story.

      I also believe the ‘yes we can’ attitude displayed by the Tower miners tipped the scales in favour of devolution. Their actions gave us the confidence to take responsibility for taking Wales…

    • Zimandola,

      ” could you explain more about my brother ”
      Absolutely. I rarely get teared up, but this story is really inspirational. Here is another example, from West Virginia back in 1983:
      WEIRTON WORKERS BUYOUT
      September 23, 1983

      Workers in Weirton, W.Va., are weighing whether to buy one of the country’s largest steel plants, the state’s largest private employer, National Steel.

      The key feature of the deal is a 32% cut in labor costs. In exchange, the workers become stockholders who share in any future profits.

  3. When ZCCM said the mines were unprofitable, people thought it was because the mines were managed by the Zambians. The metals prices now are higher than they were, on average, during ZCCM days. These new guys initially operated the mines ‘profitably’ because the GRZ took over all the debts which burdened ZCCM and improved metal prices. Now that the metal prices have dipped and they possibly have to start repaying the debts they have accumulated, they want to cut and run.
    Fellow Zambians, the C/Belt mines are in terminal decline. They have served the Country well over the years. Let us start preparing the C/Belt for life without the mines. Half naked protests are not a solution.

  4. This may even be a new development model. Allow the miners to keep the profits, and help them invest that money into farms, for when the mine closes or they want to change professions.

  5. By the way, unless you can predict that prices are going to zero, there is *no way* you can say that the ‘copperbelt is in terminal decline’. Sorry, but it isn’t. In fact, China is now doing it’s own stimulus package, which means that demand for copper is going to pick up – which is why the mines were in such a hurry to get the government to do away with the windfall tax (which only goes into effect when copper gets above a certain price).

  6. that is a good move by the government, it will atleast reduce the job losses and will also enable keep the wealth in the country

  7. Obama’s stimulas package means some high percentage of independence of the US. And this means that America will not be importing as much goods from other countries as it used to. As a result, China will not have as much revenue from exports as before and therefore China will not buy as much raw materials. These raw materials include copper. It is therefore expected that copper prices will not get back to the famous $8000/tonne, but definetly there will be a small increase in the price of copper.I believe we can manage our own affairs as Zambians, only if we work together. We can run these mines only if we are determined. Its high time we organised ourselves. We can do it.

  8. The world has become small indeed, in terms of communication and transport but we should also realize that most developedstates and countries would want as much as possible to care for their own needs, the same way modern families have become – nuclear family- zero extended families. This time around we must indeed wake up. We have well qualified personnel to run big companies within Zambia. As Zambian, we can run ZAMTEL, and all the copper mines. I believe we can.

    • useless Lusaka times you have been compromised and bought by corrupt RB. you have all of a sudden stopped being impartial when reporting this is a blog no need of names or e-mail address. if you can not take the truth close this site.

    • WHAT TRUTH? YOU ARE THE ONE WHO CANNOT ACCEPT DIFFERENT OPINIONS. THE TRUTH WHICH YOU FAIL TO ACCEPT IS THAT NOT EVERY ONE SUPPORTS YOUR SATA AND HIS PERSONAL PARTY.

  9. i read and here all these stories in the mines and i start to wonder how the chinese owned mines are still surviving. i have not read on retrenchment on Chinese mines and that makes me think, they are doing Zambia a big favor. i remember sometime back when we were attacking them for poor salaries but now they seem to be keeping all the workers. can we get to appreciate that or we shall continue to be silent about it? the big man, Sata seem to have no words now. the Chinese are proving to be true friends of zambia.

    • EXACTLY. BUT FIRST SATA IS NOT A BIG MAN. MICHAEL DEMONISED THE CHINESE BECAUSE HE WAS BEING FUNDED BY TAIWAN AND MANY ZAMBIANS IN THEIR BLINDNESS FOLLOWED HIM. NOW THAT THE TAIWANESE HAVE STOPPED FUNDING HIM HE WANTS TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE CHINESE. AND OF COURSE HE HAS NEVER ATTACKED THE INDIANS EVEN THOUGH THEY TREAT ZAMBIANS THE SAME WAY BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE RAJAN MAHTAN HAVE FUNDED HIS LAST CAMPAIGN.

  10. LT please do not by blind folded by politians . zambian has chosen to be democratic so please let us enjoy the fruit of freedom of speech. this is the price you pay . why are you asking people to send e-mail address with names useless LT. The post newspaper will survive the test of time not even RB or anyone can close it. You people you hurt the truth . What Dora did was wrong and if you being used by MMD to De-campaign the post newspaper you are wasting your time and monies . the post has helped even you to enjoy the freedom . the post newspaper simply reports what is going on in the country and nothing else . if people do not want the post let them die .

    • THAT IS WHERE YOU ARE WRONG. I HAVE WRITTEN SEVERAL TIMES TO THE POST. THEY NEVER PRINT MY LETTERS. THEY ONLY PRINT LETTERS WHICH ARE AGAINST RB. THEY HAVE AN AGENDA. THEY HAVE ACCUSED HIM OF ALL SORTS OF CRIMES. ASK YOURSELF. WHAT HAS RUPIA STOLLEN IN FOUR MONTHS.

  11. Its high time we got our mines back and run them ourselves. This thing of investors who do not even care about the plight of the local Zambians is not working at all; its only the so-called investors who are benefiting.

  12. Stu*pid Mine aggreements signed does not provide for the surrender of sold assets. We sold them to foreigners as usual Zed style anything foreign good!!! Zambia was conned, we sold mines for a song, the new owners with legal rights made huge profits when the copper prices were high with the MMD Govt. just watching, , now they want to shut them because it’s theirs. What do you do???? We are held as prisoners in our own country. We need a Chavez type of president not a SoyaNyama.

    • WAS IT NYAMA SOYA WHO SOLD THE MINES FOR A SONG? WHEN THE MINES WERE BEING SOLD RB WAS IN PRISON ON TRUMPED UP CHARGES BY CHILUBA. MICHAEL SATA WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO SOLD THE MINES FOR A SONG. NOW TELL ME DO YOU WANT TO FALSIFY HISTORY AND MAKE SATA A HERO?

  13. It is very clear the MMD govt only reacts to situations.It is not proactive,has no vision and never considers “what ifs” in its cabinet meetings. It is time to change.

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