Chamber of Mines, manufacturers join hands over equipment

By Hicks Sikazwe

The source of mining equipment continues to be a concern in Zambia especially now with the fall in the value of the Kwacha, the local currency, against the US dollar.

Other than those suppliers to the industries have also complained of a drop in contracts fearing that many of them sooner or later will go out of business.

In an effort to improve the procurement of  machinery for the mining industries, it was revealed at the just ended the southern region  Engineering Institution of Zambia (EIZ) meeting that manufactures and the chamber of mines will work together to tackle the issue.

The chamber of Mines and the Zambia Association of Manufacturers would identify equipment that can be produced locally to avoid costs that go with importing.

Chamber of Mines vice president Mathew Banda told the gathering in Lusaka that the move would not only help to avoid the high import costs but it would boost local industry and help contribute to move government revenue.

“We have gone into partnership with the association of manufacturers to determine whether some equipment can be produced in the country.”

The mining industry has recently been under pressure following the fall in the price of copper which led to a drop in both revenue and production that some mining companies have been contemplating job cuts if the situation does not improve.

A local union member on the Copperbelt observed that the “marriage” between the Chamber of Mines and the Association of Manufacturers intended to source mining equipment locally was long over due.

In another development the number of mine accidents has in the last three months raised sharply in what experts believe could be a problem of inadequate rest on the part of the workers.

The Workers Compensation Fund Control board has since appealed to companies to ensure workers were tied to schedules with high concentration levels.

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