China’s Non Ferrous Africa Mining Corporation (NFCA) plans to spend US$100 million this year towards the development of the South East Ore Body Mine (SEOB) at its Chambishi unit in Zambia as it seeks to expedite the project.
It is estimated that when the project is complete more than 5,000 jobs would be created; the Times of Zambia reported citing NFCA chief of executive Wang Chuilai. The mining company is committed to developing the SEOB because the future of the company largely depended on the project, according Wang.
During a recent visit to the mine by Copperbelt Minister Mwenya Musenga said NFCA’s planned investment in the development of the SEOB was US$830 million and that by last year, the company had injected in a total of $123 million.
“The future of NFCA depends on the SEOB and this is why we are determined to have the project successfully completed, we are so far on course in the implementation of the project and its completion date is 2017,”
When completed, the SEOB would increase the life span of the mine by 25 years. NFCA has made significant social and economic contributions and that the company had a workforce of more than 3,000 workers. Apart from creating employment, NFCA is contributing to the economy of the country through the various forms of taxes we are paying to Government.
From inception up to the end of 2013, the company had paid to the Government a cumulative US$150 million in taxes, which included mineral royalty tax, company income tax, Payer as You Earn (PAYE), Value Added Tax (VAT).
Wang further said the company had paid dividends to the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holding (ZCCM-IH). During the tour Musenge was happy with the Chinese investment in the country noting that NFCA had significantly contributed to the growth of the economy.
“We are actually grateful for the contribution you are making to this country and it is our desire that we continue building on our bilateral relations,” Musenge said and commended NFCA for its outstanding safety record. He urged the company to continue investing in the safety of its workers. The Zambia Environmental Management Agency recently halted the implementation of the SEOB on grounds that NFCA had failed to comply with regulations on compensation and relocation of surrounding communities. This action by the agency ultimately led to over 500 miners who were working on the project being laid off.
Last month the Government lifted the suspension on the construction of Non-Ferrous Mining Corporation Africa’s Chambishi South East Ore Body Project, the delay which according to the mine management had cost the company about US $10 million during the 48-day closure of the project.
Following the closure of the project for alleged failure to meet certain environmental conditions, the Government said it had decided to waive the decision according to Labour and social security minister Fackson Shamenda after a closed door meeting with NFCA management and unions.
“The suspension of the construction of Chambishi South East Ore Body has been lifted. Various concerns from some stakeholders surrounding the project will be resolved well and we hope to close this whole matter by the end of the month,”
According to Shamenda, any issues that were being raised by other stakeholders should not affect the operations of the mining company adding that where there are different companies or people, there will always be complaints but the differences must be resolved in an amicable manner.