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Alba Iulia
Sunday, May 22, 2022

Government Restarts Negotiations with Mopani Copper Mines to Prevent the Closure

Economy Government Restarts Negotiations with Mopani Copper Mines to Prevent the Closure

Minister of Finance Bwalya Ng’andu has said that the government has restarted negotiations with Mopani Copper Mines Plc to find a solution that will avoid the mine being placed under care and maintenance.

Dr Ng’andu said that it is not the desire of the government to close the mine but find solutions to sustain operations beyond 90 days.

The Minister is leading a delegation which includes Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa, Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa, and Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe.

Speaking when he met Mine Unions and Mopani Copper Mines officials, Dr. Ng’andu said President Edgar Lungu has sent the team to discuss how best operations can continue running while being mindful of the challenges the mining firm is going through.

He is hopeful that discussions will center around continuing operations beyond 90 days as applied for by Mopani Copper Mines Plc to place the mine on care and maintenance.

Meanwhile, Mr. Musukwa said the government wants Mopani to structure a surviving model and engage local contractors as opposed to foreigners with a top cost profile.

Mr. Musukwa said engaging local contractors will help Mopani to deal with some of its challenges adding that the government remains open to dialogue to find a win-win situation.

And Mineworkers Union of Zambia President Joseph Chewe said Unions will not allow Glencore to close the mine and should they decide to do so they should be asked to leave.

Mopani Copper Mines Plc Acting Chief Executive Officer Charles Sakanya said the mine is faced with challenges among them VAT refunds.

The delegation is on the Copperbelt to find solutions to the challenges at Mopani Copper Mines Plc, Chambishi Metals, NFCA, Copperbelt Energy Corporation CEC, and Lubambe

12 COMMENTS

  1. Be deligent ba PF.
    Stop fvcking companies, we know you already lost elections in copperbelt.
    Why everything taking a decade to negotiate?
    Look PF’s robbery at KCM and others, so many have lost jobs through that stagged robbery led by your Milingo Lungu and Chi Lewis Mosho.
    – Amos Chanda lost job
    – Kaizer went crazy over bribes, and lost a job.
    Now here we go again with vultures flying over Mopani.
    Mopani, hang in there, help is coming from UPND, 2021 elections is nearby.

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  2. Pay them the VAT refunds then you can be on firm ground to negotiate with them. Musukwa is the wrong person to talk about a business model, not too long ago he organised miners on an illegal strike.

  3. These PF guys work in reverse; why didn’t you see it right to discuss before taking over? You are not serious guys!!

  4. The decision makers for Mopani (Glencore ) – Glencore plc is a British multinational commodity trading and mining company with headquarters in Baar, Switzerland, and its registered office in Saint Helier, ) , not in Mufulira or Kitwe. Are you negotiating with a Foreman ?

  5. VAT REFUNDS?
    HOW MUCH IS INVOLVED
    GLENCORE PLEASE DONATE TO GOVERNMENT IN US DOLLARS TO PROP UP THE KWACHA

  6. This is where we always get it wrong. Look at the government delegation, starting from Ng’andu, Minister of Mines Richard Musukwa, Minister of Labour Joyce Simukoko, Minister of Energy Mathew Nkhuwa, and Copperbelt Minister Japhen Mwakalombe, not a single one of them has ever been engaged in complex negotiations such as these! Remember when Chiluba sent Nawakwi, a former marketeer to negotiate with Anglo American Corporation, they were run over like a goods train whence the collapse of the Copperbelt. At one point Nawakwi had the “clits” of asking Andy Mazoka who was leading Anglo American and quote: “Imwe sure titandizeni ko”. Ng’andu’s recent engagement with the IMF and World Bank has been nothing short of catastrophic. Their report observed him as “being in a conundrum mostly…

  7. Mopani are decided, whatever they are doing now is “care and maintenance” on the government itself, after 90 days, it will be bye bye polio, watch this space.

  8. First they lied saying the closure was necessary because of the COVID-19, and now they are talking about VAT. So now we know the real reason why and they should stop pretending otherwise. And quite frankly, this VAT nonsense should have been delt with a long time ago. Minister Maggie Mwanakatwe wanted to do away with VAT so that companies/corporations don’t keep using it as a BUSINESS OPERATIONS FUND. And consequently as an excuse to arm-twist Govt for loser and loser conditions and less taxes (which are already nothing really.) They always threaten closures of their companies at the drop of a hut because they know Govt has less leverage due to the fact that it owes them VAT refunds to the tune of millions. Money Govt doesn’t readily have all the time. It is a shrewd bargaining tactic…

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    that has served them well since Chiluba/Mwanawasa brought these economic mercenaries back to Zambia.

    Has anybody wondered why, with all the profits mining companies were making not too long ago when copper prices were sky high (which some Indian mine executive was even bragging about), they couldn’t set aside funds for emergencies such as the current one? Why should they always rely on VAT as an emergency slash fund when on the other hand they externalize all the profits? I think this is the conundrum the Zambian Govt should tackle first than trying to renegotiate contracts/agreements everytime these people throw a tantrum. In my humble opinion, the VAT system is unsustainable for a small and poor economy like ours. It works well for larger economies such as the United…

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    States, China, or Europe. So I say scrap VAT and let these corporations bring back some of the externalized profits for their companies’ operations in Zambia…..this might even help stabilize the Kwacha for longer stretches of time.

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