Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Govt finalises evaluation of Nkandabwe mine assets
By Allan Mulenga
Tue 25 June 2013, 14:00 CAT

MINES permanent secretary Dr Victor Mutambo says the government has finalised the evaluation of assets at Sinazeze's Nkandabwe mine, formerly owned by Chinese Collum Coal Mine.

And Sinazongwe UPND member of parliament Richwell Siamunene says he is hopeful that the government will quickly find an equity partner to take over the running of the mine.

In an interview yesterday, Dr Mutambo said ZCCM Investment Holdings was currently negotiating with the previous mine owners over the evaluated assets.

"If everything goes according to schedule, they should be concluding at least within this month. The government wants immediately to resume mining operations. At that point, they will be able to find other equity partners to come and resume operations of Collum Coal Mine," he said.

Dr Mutambosaid the government would was keen on resuming mining activities of the coal mine, currently on care and maintenance.

"ZCCM-IH is currently negotiating with the previous owners so that they can reach consensus. Once that is done, then that will be followed by immediate resumption of operations of the mines. As you may be aware, the mine is just on care maintenance. We want to ensure that we have evaluated the assets because it was only the mining licence which was cancelled," said Dr Mutambo.

And Siamunene, who is also commerce deputy minister, said the locals were confident that economic activities at the mine would be resuscitated following the resumption of operations.

"Kandabwe Coal Mine is a very important mine in Sinazeze because there are a lot of multiplier effects on the locals. Those who work in the mines will be able to buy commodities and boost the economic activities in the area. The government has continued paying miners, all their salaries have been cleared and they are very happy about that," he said.

Siamunene urged the government to find a credible equity partner to take over mining operations.


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