Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chinese company to establish copper mine in Mwinilunga

Chinese company to establish copper mine in Mwinilunga
Written by Mulimbi Mulaliki in Solwezi
Saturday, October 25, 2008 10:11:39 PM

A Chinese mining company has proposed to invest over US $2 billion to establish a copper mine in Mwinilunga District. Zhongui Mining Industry Zambia Limited president Charles Shi said his company will respect the Zambian labour laws and give their workers good conditions of service.

Speaking when he paid a courtesy call on North Western Province Permanent Secretary Jeston Mulando on Wednesday, Shi said their investment in Zambia was as a result of the cordial relationship between the Zambian government and the Chinese government.

“The total coverage area for these two tenements comes to 14,100 square kilometres and if we are granted a licence by the Zambian government, we intend to build mines and concentrators as well as mining compounds,” Shi said.

He said his company would also construct a smelter which will process 300,000 tonnes of copper per year to complement and supplement its mining activities and is also expected to construct a hydro power plant.

And Shi said the current global financial crisis would not affect their planned investment of opening a copper mine in Mwinilunga as his company also receives financial support from the Chinese government.

“Our company is based in Beijing, China and is one of the major players, diversified itself in various investment sectors and has enough resources and asserts to support the project and we have the support of the Chinese government as well. My projection is that the price of copper would still be high despite this global financial crisis,” Shi said.

Shi said his company would follow the labour laws and give workers decent working conditions as a way of attracting them to work very hard.

“The problem I have seen with most of the Chinese companies is the language barrier, because most of the western countries who have invested in Zambia do not have the same problem because you are able to communicate with them unlike Chinese language,” he said.

And Mulando appealed to the Ministry of Mines to cancel all mining prospecting licences held by companies for more than five years without showing any form of mining activities.

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