Manyinga districts in North Western Province may be new to most Zambians unfamiliar with the area lying between Mufumbwe and Kabompo.
The unexplored area, which was until recently not one of the many districts that have existed since Zambia’s independence in 1964, has attracted renowned mining giants including Rio Tinto Group into explorations to tap into the vast mineral potential it is endowed with.
When President Michael Sata announced the creation of six districts in the North Western Province, Manyinga inclusive, on 26 November 2012, it did not attract the attention of investors or indeed ordinary Zambians.
However to the mining sector it opened doors for the creation of another mining zone that will one day contribute to Zambia’s credibility on the world map as one of the world’s emerging markets for minerals.
Undoubtedly, due to President Sata’s zeal to extend development to various parts of the country, the little known Manyinga has been thrust into the mineral limelight, exposing vast deposits the country is endowed with.
The creation of Manyinga district, more than 50 kilometres from Mufumbwe and about 70 kilometres before Kabompo boma, has reaffirmed the emergence of North Western Province as the new ‘Copperbelt’.
The province has indeed provided another zone for various untapped minerals which the country needs to exploit to increase its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Since its elevation to district status, Manyinga has attracted a Consortium of Mining Investors, led by Rio Tinto Exploration Zambia Limited, a unit of London based Rio Tinto Group.
The company has since teamed up with Infinity Minerals Resources who have jointly shown interest to start explorations of the quantities of various mineral reserves in the area including copper, oil and other Mineral resources.
Manyinga District Commissioner Queen Manela and Rio Tinto Explorations Zambia Limited Country Project Manager Kelvin Mwamba say the explorations will be undertaken through a Joint venture based on three large-Scale Prospecting Licenses.
The License was granted by the Director of Geological Survey in the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development on 4 December, 2012.
The project has come at the right time because Government is in a hurry to develop the district into a modern economic hub to benefit the local people and the country at large. The coming of the mining consortium in the district will lead to job and infrastructure development.
According to the mining license, a portion of it allows the company to prospect for various minerals in Manyinga District in the area lying between the Angola Border and the West Lunga River near Chabohoki area. The other potions of licenses overlap into the Mwinilunga and Mufumbwe Districts.
Former Kabompo West area Member of Parliament Abrose Lufuma was cited by ZANIS as appealing to government to look for serious investors who can explore the province’s vast mineral resources.
According to Lufuma, the area mineral resources have remained unexploited because of lack of investment in the area.
Lufuma was gratified that the Government through President Sata had created Manyinga as a district. He further appealed to the Government to create many more districts in North Western province to foster development.
Other districts created in North Western Province as part of the Government’s development agenda alongside Manyinga include Sikongo, Nalolo, Sioma, Mitete and Luampa.
The President announced the creation of six new districts when swearing in Ministry of Labour and Social Security Permanent Secretary Trevor Kaunda and then Muchinga Province Commissioner of Police Lemmy Kajoba, who has since been moved to Lusaka in the same capacity.
During the same occasion, the President further directed Minister of Sports Chishimba Kambwili to ensure that a stadium is constructed in Western province as well as the construction of a new university at Namushakende in Western Province.
He proposed to name the institution of higher learning as King Lewanika University.