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Rise in copper prices to improve mining sector

MINERS processing copper at one of the mines on the Copperbelt.

HONE SIAME, Kitwe
THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says Zambia’s mining sector is headed for remarkable recovery following an increase in copper prices on the international market and reduction of electricity rationing to the mines.
MUZ general secretary Joseph Chewe said in an interview in Kitwe recently that the sector has so far recorded significant improvement that has seen some mining companies recalling the miners who were retrenched in 2015.
Mr Chewe said the labour movement in the mining sector is hopeful that more miners will get back their jobs as mining companies increase production.
He said the move by Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to recall over 500 miners retrenched towards the end of 2015 as part of its debt reduction strategy and response to the drastic slump in copper prices on the international market is a clear indication that best things are yet to come.
He said the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Nchanga underground mine in Chingola, which is still under care and maintenance, is also set to resume its operations that will culminate into the recalling of more miners.
“The Nchanga underground mine will soon be re-opened by KCM. As a union, we are excited to see mining companies beginning to recall the miners that lost jobs.
“We can only appeal to former miners who are yet to be recalled to be patient as mining companies cannot recall everyone at once. The exercise is being done gradually,” Mr Chewe said.
He said the impressive recovery the mining sector has recorded in the last few months will greatly increase Government’s revenue from the mines.
Mr Chewe said it is, however, MUZ’s desire to see mining companies giving priority to their former workers when recruiting more staff for their respective operations.

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