The Zambian mining industry is set to the risk of being crippled if foreign companies do not enhance skills transfer and invest in local mining engineering services.
Launching a mining and engineering services seco-drills workshop organised by Tranter Mining Zambia at Mindola shaft in Kitwe, Christopher Yaluma Minister of Mines challenged mining companies to be relevant to the requirements of the Zambian economy by supporting local businesses.
This is the improvement we want to see because it also reduces cost of doing business for Mopani and other mining companies since now equipment will be readily available. “Local people need to be part of the mining sector and it is encouraging to see Mopani spearheading this initiative by partnering with Tranter and I urge other companies to emulate this gesture,” said the Minister.
In addition, mining companies should enhance skills transfer because the few mining engineers we have will eventually go and this is the right time to fill gaps; otherwise the industry will be crippled if nothing is done now.
Chief Executive for Tranter, Dr. Sixtus Mulenga stated the workshop would contribute to Mopani’s business bottom line towards productivity and unit cost of production. “We shall provide cost-effective and efficient support services in this workshop and these include repair of jackhammers for mine development, repair of drifter machines and long hole drilling, repair of air legs, sharpening of drilling bits and testing of drilling machines among other services.”
There are plans in the future with our original equipment manufacturer to manufacture here in Kitwe the drilling machines and associated products so that import costs and turnaround time will be reduced.
Mopani is overwhelmed by the partnership with Tranter Mining and Engineering Services Limited; we are pioneering the growth of mining engineering in Zambia in line with the governments’ policy of reviving Copperbelt industrial base which once thrived and provided the needed support to the mining sector. This local reviving mining engineering service has multiple benefits to various stakeholders.
This therefore means increased jobs for the youths as well as increased revenue. Above all, it is a consolidated local business and manufacturing base that will propel the country to economic prosperity.