Zambian Green Party Leader Peter Sinkamba has called on the government to address issues at the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines without any further delays. Sinkamba expressed concerns that the government’s delay in resolving challenges at the two mining firms has negatively impacted the country in many ways. He said that the government promised to find solutions before the end of the first quarter of 2023, but nothing has happened yet.
Sinkamba noted that the Copperbelt region heavily depends on the operations of KCM and Mopani for jobs and business, with 90 percent of business activities in the area being dependent directly or indirectly on the mining activities. He added that the two mining giants have seen production reduce to less than a quarter of what they used to produce some three to four years ago, resulting in a significant impact on the people. Many people have lost jobs, businesses, and property because of the direct or indirect impacts of failing to resolve the two issues.
Sinkamba emphasized that copper prices are going up, almost reaching US$9,000 per tonne, and the government should adequately resolve the issues at the two mining firms so that the country can economically benefit from this. Copper is the major foreign exchange earner, and when mining operations are not operating optimally, the kwacha is weakened.
Sinkamba appealed to the government to quickly resolve the issues surrounding KCM and Mopani without further delays. The Green Party President urged the government to take action to strengthen the kwacha and create more jobs and business opportunities for the people.