Workers at Universal Mining and Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) Kafue Steel Plant working as usual in the steel plant
Workers at Universal Mining and Chemical Industries Limited (UMCIL) Kafue Steel Plant working as usual in the steel plant
CHAMBER of Mines says implementation of new projects is at risk in Zambia and other mining countries around the world due to the increasing shortage of specific skilled and experienced people.

According to a latest report by the Chamber of Mines titled ‘Searching for talent-skills and employment in the global mining industry’, the world’s mines are battling to attract skilled and experienced people.

It stated the skills most in demand across the global mining industry as a result of talent shortage are those critical to the daily operations of the mines.

“They are largely technical, such as engineers, geologists, metallurgists, technicians, mechanics and artisans,” it stated.

The report revealed that the immediate effect of the global mining skills crunch is that mines in Zambia and other countries are finding it increasingly difficult not just to attract skilled people, but also to retain them.

“There was a time when you could easily find four to five people to fill a high-level position. Now you battle to find just one,” Mopani Copper Mines chief executive officer Johan Jansen is quoted in the report.

The report, compiled by mining researcher Rob Gentle, cites three major reasons for the global shortage of high-level mining skills.

“The massive rise in global mineral production over the past 20 years, mainly to meet rising demand in China, has drained much of the world’s mining talent pool. Secondly, the industry is experiencing its biggest retirement wave in many decades, with up to half of the people in key skill categories nearing retirement.

“In Canada, one of the world’s largest mining countries, some 49,000 people will be needed in the next decade to replace retiring workers,” it stated.

The report cited the third reason as harsh working conditions, remote locations and long working hours that is making mining to be no longer an attractive career option as it once was.
“The truth is there are more attractive industries out there for mining graduates, with better work-life balance,” Barrick Lumwana general manager Sam Ash is quoted in the report.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Does chamber of mines leaders leave in Zambia?? Every time they comment it is all trash, I am Mining Engineer, Process Engineers and all Mining Expertise you can think of with over 6 years experience who are still looking for Jobs, This may be true in other countries but Not Zambia Please? We have more experts in the same name i believe these guys are on some pay roll from these Mopani and Lumwana guys.

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    • True, UNZA and CBU are churning out young and intelligent Mining Engineers, Geologists, Metallurgist, Chemical Engineers etc and the guys are just roaming the streets. The problem is these mines have stopped the Student/Graduate Internship programmes and they expect experienced and well trained young men and women to just fall from the heavens. The performance of these mines in as far as nurturing the young engineers is simply pathetic, hence the best brains are now going into commercial course. In our time, it was very competitive to go into the School of Natural Sciences and eventually Engineering, Mines, Agric, Medicine or Vet at UNZA. Chamber of Mines is now just like a Union for Mine Owners and does not have the interest of the Country at heart. You just hear their voices when there…

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    • You just hear their voices when their voices when there is an increase in electricity tariffs or taxes or discussing VAT refunds. When they sponsor five students, they would want it to be top news everywhere. They problem is this organisation is headed by our own educated Zambians who went through the old system, but they pretend not to know what the problem is as long as they are getting their cheques at the end of the month. LET US MAKE THE ZAMBIAN ENGINEER GREAT AGAIN

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  2. You just hear their voices when their voices when there is an increase in electricity tariffs or taxes or discussing VAT refunds. When they sponsor five students, they would want it to be top news everywhere. They problem is this organisation is headed by our own educated Zambians who went through the old system, but they pretend not to know what the problem is as long as they are getting their cheques at the end of the month.

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  3. Yes mr Panda I agree with you, it was very competitive to enter the school of natural sciences and it was even more brutal to make it into second year from the natural sciences. I am lucky thru hard work and 5 years of sleepless nights, I completed my engineering degree and the jobs were waiting for us upon completion of the degrees.

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  4. Always take what the CHAMBER of Mines says with a pinch of salt…they have no loyalty to you but their subscribers…if they really cared about lack of skilled experienced people they would be pushing for more apprenticeships, more Gap years for students….those so called skilled experienced foreign workers you crave for were students at one time.

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  5. The zabian way of doing things is needless to say pathetic especially after privasating the mines. The powers that be simply went to sleep to date. One wonders who UNZA and CBU are training Engineers for. Someone need to seriously wakeup. Within a year or two these Engineers would be very ripe and there will be no talking from abstract. PSE support the government policy on employment and brain drain issues because jobs are and will always be there in the mines but the foreign mine owners will not unfortunately take on a raw Engineer unless they are told to do so as was the case before for some of us.

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