The reported joint venture between Mopani Copper Mine and South African miner, Jubilee Metals, to exploit the copper rich ‘Black Mountain’ in Mufulira is currently dividing opinions in the mining town.
Kankoyo Member of Parliament, Hearterson Mabeta, said during a phone-in radio programme on Mafken Radio on Saturday that there was need for more transparency on the part of the government regarding the matter.
A resident, only named as John, stated that residents were not happy that the JV on the copper and cobalt rich site did not involve Zambians as promised by government.
“The Black Mountains in Kitwe were depleted by United Party for National Development (UPND) supporters because of lack of a proper system,” he alleged.
Other callers encouraged the area MP to ensure that the JV benefited the residents and the country at large.
They added that operations at one of the largest copper deposits in Africa should benefit locals adding that youths had been waiting for a long time to benefit from the black mountain.
However, Mabeta assured that the Mopani/Jubilee Metals venture would be beneficial to the country.
“The JV will create more than 1,000 jobs for the local community, and I am ready to continue providing information on the matter because a deal has not been signed yet,” he stated.
Mabeta stressed that residents should believe in the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema because he was committed to strike a win-win deal between locals and investors.
He argued that Mopani picked Jubilee because the South African company had technical and financial capacity and had been in the business for some time.
The mine is believed to have a 0.7 percent copper and about 0.25 percent cobalt content which is believed to be the most viable sites on the continent.
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