Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 March 2009 – The government of Zambia is to form a broad-based technical team consisting of experts in various disciplines to investigate the affairs of mining sector and to chart the way forward for the country’s mining industry.
Speaking at Katilungu House here, where he met national union officials to brief them on the happenings in the mining sector, mines and mineral development minister, Maxwell Mwale said his government wanted to come up with a team which would handle the affairs of the entire mining industry. The team would be broad-based, comprising experts from various related disciplines to look at the whole industry and to make recommendations to the government on the way forward.
He added that the government had formed a committee specifically to handle the affairs of Luanshya Copper Mines, but now intended to form a new team which would look at the entire mining sector in Zambia.
Mwale confirmed that a week ago, the government had held a meeting with the Mopani Copper Mines board chairperson who had indicated the company’s intention to close Mufulira Mine permanently, and to hand over Nkana smelter to anybody interested, including the government.
He said that if owners failed to run the mines, it was only in order for them to hand over the assets bought from the government, who would in turn find an equity partner. “We have written to the Mopani Copper Mine board, and we are just waiting to hear from them,” Mwale added.
The Government had allowed investors to operate freely, and if they had failed, they should hand over the mines, he declared.
The minister went on to say that the government had made tremendous progress in finding the investor taking over Luanshya Copper Mines. LCM was expected to exit by April 6 to open the way for the new investor.
Mr Mwale was confident that by the end of April, the new investor would move into Luanshya Copper Mines.