COPPER oxide production ended the year on an impressive note with one of Copperbelt’s major local miners Ground Focus Mining recording a 25 per cent mineral recovery rate. The Ground Focus Mining managing director Jimmy Mubashi indicated the 4,500metric tones output of copper oxide the company had recorded could double next year if the government puts up policies to protect the local mining industry and create more employment for young people.
He said,” local mining companies in copper oxide production and low grade copper have the potential to grow and contribute significantly to national development through remittance of substantial revenue and creating the much-needed jobs for young people on the streets.”
“The Copper oxide industry looks bright and we need to work together with the government to utilise the potential in this industry for the betterment of our country. There is a lot that needs to be done for local mining companies to survive. Just a few months ago, we experienced a drastic fall in oxide production and recovery rate drastically dropped from the normal US$45 per ton to US$15 dollar per tone,” Mubashi said. “These are serious issues that need serious attention because the industry still looks vulnerable and requires protection from the government through a policy directive.
“He further explained that, foreign investors in the mining sector who were the buyers of copper oxide and low-grade copper should not be allowed to exploit Zambians and dictate the price of the minerals when prices on the London Metal Exchange looked impressive. Mubashi said there should be a favourable environment in the mining sector for small-scale mines owned by locals to survive. “We are looking forward to a day when there will be fair play in the mining industry. What we are asking from the government is not to be spoon fed but we want a favourable environment. We believe that this country will never be developed by outsiders but we and we must work hard day in, day out for us to see real national prosperity,” he said. Mubashi said the interest of most foreign mining firms was to make money through the extraction of Zambian minerals and externalise profits whereas the interest of local investors was to make profit, reinvest and expand business within the country for the benefit of the people.