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Saturday, August 8, 2020

President Lungu to lead discussions with Mines over Jobs

Economy President Lungu to lead discussions with Mines over Jobs

Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma
Mines, Energy and Water Development Minister Christopher Yaluma

PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu is expected to continue safeguarding jobs in the mining sector by holding further talks with mine owners during his five-day working stay in Kitwe.

Mines and Minerals Development Minister, Christopher Yaluma said in an interview yesterday that serious discussions to ensure no mine is closed to avoid job losses will continue with the Head of State being at the helm of this intervention.

Mr Yaluma who is part of the Cabinet’s working team travelling to the Copperbelt, said the Government would like to see mining companies sustain their operations to minimise job losses.

“I do not want to pre-empt what the President will talk about, but all I can say is that, we will engage the mining investors in serious discussions, most of the discussions we had in Cabinet and relating to the same problem,” he said.

Mining remained a key sector of the economy and it would be tabled to the mine investors, retrenchments, were not the way to go.

“We want the mines to perform well, so as to support employment, because in an event they fail to perform, I do not think they can also employ, so we need to find a situation whereby they won’t close until everything returns to normal,” he said.

He said Government understood the difficulties that the mines were experiencing and how these affected the workers.

Mr Yaluma said the issues regarding mining operations in the country were being handled with care because the sector created a large employment base which could not be taken up in the public sector.

On threats by the Chingola based China Copper Mines (CCM) to cut jobs and further withhold a capital injection of around US$50 million owing to alleged interference by some government agencies, Mr Yaluma assured that the matter would be thoroughly investigated to prevent the planned action by the owners.

“China Copper Mine is not an exception, we will try to hear their story, problems in their operations and we will follow that very seriously, to ensure that we do not have that mine closed, if there is some interference as claimed. This we will not allow.

“We must realise that these people coming into the country, have invested money and as a Government we want them to be operating and contribute to the economy of this country, I can’t make a thorough statement unless I have been briefed by my permanent secretary when I get back to Lusaka,” he said.

He said Government was handling issues affecting the mining sector with caution and condemned any unnecessary interference from government agencies.
This, he said, if left unchecked, would send wrong signals to the investor community, both outside and those already in the investment mainstream in Zambia.

“We want investment in our country, that is why we are trying to make sure that we grow this investor friendliness by ensuring that where things have been done, no corruption, what ever you think as unethical we do not want it,” he said.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Labour cuts are the first things when your business is threatened with high production costs. Capitalism is all about profits. Some of the tools of production are constant and are difficult to shelve/cut. Wishing you and President a fruitful discussion otherwise the way I see things the Mine Owners are way ahead and it will be the government’s arm that will be twisted here. It is rough out in the mines.

  2. Try to be serious.How can the presido lead discussions over matters he knows little about? He will only be briefed on the job cuts.

  3. hopefully copper prices rise soon and global demand increases – otherwise, there are very few profitable businesses in the world that stay open just to pay employees. Keeping these jobs would really help this economy. Again — let us diversify; use our expanding and educated youth to man IT call centers, process data files from around the world, etc. We don’t always need to rely on huge companies — many nations are stable because of a large number of small-medium size company base.

  4. Please ba government why talking abt chingola china copper mines which has already laid off abt 200 of its workers?Talk something sensible which wil safe guard da jobs of the mines.SHAME.

  5. mineral royalty tax started at 0.3%, then increased to 3%, then 6%, then 20% then 9%. even linear regression cant solve/predict this inconsistency. gents lets be serious with our fiscal policies. this is the right time to cap down to 0.3% and save the jobs the same way it was done in the mwanawasa days. once you do that mine owners are wiling to invest in the energy sector and provide their own power thereby reducing pressure of importing expensive power from a ship. power costs 6.8 cents/kwh. imported power going for 26cents/kwh.

  6. This is now beyond ridiculous. By this very report, we admit that the Ministry of Labor has failed to engage; the Director at the Ministry of Mines who was famously quoted as being the custodian to the closure or continuity of a mine has been overpowered, and the Minister of Mines has also failed to engage to sustain mining operations according to policy. All these things are done on behalf of the President. What then, will the President do as he leads these talks? Foist onto the Mines employment decrees and staying power???

  7. they will tell him we make 60000 per day and the number of workers requare 90000 per day this will make him start dozing

  8. The ‘NO Vision’ president of PF and zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will just ask the mine owners to tell him what they think is the best way of saving the jobs in the mining industry and they will in unison answer” exempt us from paying any form of tax and we will resume operations to full scales the job holders will not be declared redundant & instead more jobs will be created” This will excite ECL and he will gladly say that’s a well thought for idea I will ask my parliament to reconvene Immediately to look at Mining taxes act for the sole purpose of making amendments in order to save the mining industry from total collapse All said and done highly esteemed business representatives go flat out and dig as much copper and other high value minerals as you can .and then comical Amos…

  9. An advise to the minister, remind the investors that the devalued kwacha has benefited them on the salaries expenses which is paid in kwacha, for example in KCM’s monthly salary expense is K50000000 for 2015 financial year and if the K/$ exchange rate was 6.0 in January and at 11.5 today, it means they are spending less dollars ($4347826) against what they were spending ($8333333) or planned in January and if the salaries portion of the operating costs represents say 40% of the total mine operating costs, the costs savings are huge on their part, By the way this is a fertile time for company take overs, if these chaps threatens to pull out, give them more ropes to hang them selves and we can reclaim what was given away for a song and run them profitably. The price of copper at $5000 per…

  10. Mine owners together with MUZ and other Unions met this dunderhead of a president at Statehouse to discuss this issue. The very next day there was a screaming headline mu Times ati ‘Mine Jobs Safe’. In the evening news of MUVI since ZNBC is all about praise and worship for PF, an annoyed MUZ president revealed that nothing had been resolved and that he was shocked that State House had decided to mislead the nation through that ka creep Amos Chanda. He further said that dull Lungu just asked all of them to go back and continue dialoging. Which makes me wonder what this ‘Lazy Bum Lungu’ (hey Jay Jay) is going to discuss with people who have already made up their minds to lay off workers. But me I would commit suicide if I was ever accused of supporting PF…

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