‘Laughable!’ policy researcher, Musonda, mocks people celebrating Kobold’s Mingomba copper discovery


Policy researcher and fierce critic of the United Party for National Development’s (UPND) administration ‘s policy on mining, James Musonda, says the newly announced discovery of huge copper deposits by Kobold Metals will not have any significant impact on the economy.

“Nothing to celebrate about Kobold, the solution lies in crafting mining policies that are beneficial to the country, I said it when First Quantum (FQM) announced the biggest nickel mine in Africa and up to now no tangible benefits in the economy as a result of that investment,” Musonda said.

He said in a statement that the government should not continue making the same mistakes made with Mopani Copper Mine (MCM) transaction where it hoped for 49 percent shares instead of 59 percent to gain control.

“From the look of things Glencore, the former owner would still be buying Mopani copper, 49 percent is nothing and then we have people like Bill Gates who are experienced capitalist, the government and people of Zambia will remain spectators,” Musonda stated.

Read more: KoBold Metals announces plan to fast-track $2 billion Mingoba project

He said Kobold Metals had been using artificial intelligence, which meant that few would be employed.

Musonda, referring to the recent comments that; “Zambians should concentrate on agriculture and not entertaining ‘beer talks’ on gold beneficiation”, said it was laughable for someone to tell Zambians to concentrate on agriculture as if they had the same value.

” For me it is laughable for someone to tell us to “concentrate on agriculture” as if these have the same value. The two are important but mining has more value, gold to maize, should not be compared,” he stated.

KoBold Metals, a California-based metals exploration company backed by billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, said it may consider partnerships as it planned to fast-track development of a new copper mine in Zambia that could cost about US$2 billion.

Josh Goldman, its co-founder and president, told Reuters on the side-lines of the Mining Indaba in Africa that Kobold initially planned to build a new mine at its Mingomba project in Zambia within the decade but brought forward in the rush to meet increasing demand for critical metals.

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