Government has urged mining companies in the country to continue nurturing the emerging local entrepreneurs who it says help in reducing production costs.
And Mopani Copper Mines says the financial turnaround in the mining sector has helped its increased sizeable contribution to the community.
Mines and Minerals minister Maxwell Mwale says following the liberalization of the economy, most members of the general public are at liberty to engage in meaningful business related to mining industry, among others.
Mr Mwale said this during the Copperbelt mining agriculture and commercial show ( CMAC ) luncheon hosted for him by Mopani copper mines held at jubilee lodge in Kitwe’s show grounds. This year’s theme is : 2011 ‘prosperity on the Copperbelt’.
‘I thank the management of our mining industry for supporting our local business community. I implore you to continue to nurture this emerging force of entrepreneurs whose role you must insist, must be to help to you to cut down on cost of production,’ he said.
He urged the emerging business community to diversify their businesses so that it is able to survive in an event of a global crisis and continue to run their business beyond the life of the mines.
Mr Mwale said the fruits of the growing mining industry must be seen in the increased employment levels among our graduates.
He said the sharpening of technical and administrative skills must match those found in operations with the best practices anywhere in the mining world.
” I urge the CEOs to collaborate through the chamber of mines to take action immediately to close the skills gap that has emerged following a change of training policy after privatization in 2000.
” Create room in your operations for our school leavers to train from apprenticeship to mangers and executives so that they are fully equipped with requisites skills to competently run your operations,|” he stated.
Mr Mwale said government is developing a multi economic facility zone on the Copperbelt and advised the Zambian business community to cease the opportunity to establish themselves.
He noted that the supply, construction and financial services in Kitwe have become much stronger than was the case at the time of privatization in 2000 considering the uncertainties brought about by the decline in the performance of copper mining industry.
And Mopani chief executive officer Emmanuel Mutati said the financial turn-around in the mining sector has enabled the company to increase its already sizeable contribution to the community.
Mr Mutati said his company has taken advantage of the current good metal prices to expand on production capacity by investing in new projects that will increase not only production levels but also extend the life of the mines.
He said people have started seeing the prosperity on the Copperbelt which is the theme for the show and hoped that it will stand in good stead as the country moves forward.
He also said the work on the Kitwe bypass road has commenced and the planned road rehabilitation works in Kitwe.
On the Sabina Mufulira road, Mr Mutati said mopani will spend K10.5 billion on road works which are expected to be completed within 12 months.