Mumbwa’s Min­eral Po­ten­tial Un­veiled at CAMINEX…

Zambian Business Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Mumbwa min­eral and agro po­ten­tial un­veiled at CAMINEX Mumbwa, one of the towns in the Cen­tral Prov­ince of Africa’s sec­ond largest cop­per hotspot, Zam­bia with close prox­im­ity to Lusaka was show­cased at the Cop­per­belt Agri­cul­tural, Min­ing and Net­work­ing Ex­port - CAMINEX held in Kitwe from the 05 – 07 June. It is the town with the fa­mous cop­per de­posit said to pro­pel Zam­bia’s min­ing ca­pac­ity in an area called Ki­tumba.

The town cur­rently has a large scale of prospect­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for min­er­als such as cop­per and gold, though these two min­er­als are cur­rently mined in the district at a very small scale. Luiri Gold Mine has been re­vived, though it’s pro­duc­tion is yet to reach its peak.

Mumbwa town coun­cil chair­per­son Gra­cious Ha­matala con­firmed that the district has a vast num­ber of min­eral de­posits rang­ing from gold to emer­alds.

Speak­ing in an in­ter­view with ZBT in Kitwe at the CAMINEX 2018, Ha­matala said that the min­eral de­posits if well uti­lized, have a po­ten­tial to con­trib­ute mas­sively to the devel­op­ment of the coun­try. It fol­lows that the new mea­sures to track pre­cious met­als by the Mines Min­istry in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Zam­bia Rev­enue Author­ity will help cap­ture value and shoal the pool of rev­enue for the na­tion com­ing from min­ing which has been for a long time un­ac­counted for.

Mumbwa is largely a farm­ing district with a crop range of cot­ton, soya beans and maize.

Sev­eral ex­plo­rations are cur­rently go­ing on to cover gem­stones.

Mean­while, tech­nocrats have been de­ployed from the Min­istry of Mines and Min­eral Devel­op­ment by the gov­ern­ment to as­sess the level of min­eral de­posits in Mumbwa district in Cen­tral Prov­ince.

“A num­ber of both foreign and lo­cal in­vestors who have min­ing li­censes have al­ready ex­pressed in­ter­est in min­ing op­er­a­tions”, said Ha­matala.

Ha­matala fur­ther dis­closed that the town has at­tracted the mul­ti­mil­lion kwacha con­struc­tion of the first ever skills train­ing cen­ter in the district, which is almost com­plete.

He added that the fa­cil­ity will help young peo­ple gain nec­es­sary skills and that the con­struc­tion of such a fa­cil­ity is in line with gov­ern­ments sev­enth na­tional devel­op­ment plan that was launched by Pres­i­dent Edgar Lungu re­cently.

Zam­bians mostly go for agro in­vest­ment and avoid cop­per min­ing due to its mas­sive cap­i­tal re­quire­ments. The Zam­bian cap­i­tal and credit mar­kets are not yet de­vel­oped to back lo­cal Zam­bians will­ing to in­vest in the cop­per min­ing in­dus­try.

So per­haps gold and emer­ald min­ing which rel­a­tively are less cap­i­tal in­ten­sive of­fer a more vi­able al­ter­na­tive. Agri­cul­ture is how­ever the main­stay and the largest em­ployer but re­turns are not as high when com­pared to min­ing.

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