A MULTI-MILLION US-dollar cobalt mine expected to create about 1,000 jobs is set to open in June in Chililabombwe, Mines deputy minister Richard Musukwa has disclosed.
Caledonia Nama Limited, which is owned by Canada-based Caledonia Mining Corporation, was last year directed to meet a number of conditions for it to continue holding the mining license and to ensure that it commences cobalt production by the end of June this year.
Mr Musukwa, who last week met Caledonia Nama Limited management to check on progress in opening the mine, said preparations have advanced and the mine is set to open in June.
“Government is happy that the cobalt mine is finally opening this June with jobs in excess of 1,000 expected to be created,” he said.
He said this in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Musukwa said apart from the cobalt mine, Caledonia Nama Limited is expected to develop a copper sulphide ore mine.
Nama was awarded four large-scale mining rights in 2008 covering 860 square kilometres.
He said Government will continue to support investments that aim at creating jobs for the local communities in line with the PF manifesto, which attaches great importance to job creation.
Meanwhile, Mr Musukwa said Government has tightened supervision and monitoring of mining operations to ensure that no mine under-declares their profits.
“Government has stepped up supervision of the mining industry so that we can close up all loopholes that prevent the country from collecting adequate revenue from mining,” he said.
He said it is saddening that despite being the largest copper producer in Africa, the country is not realising meaningful benefits from the resources.
“If properly organised, mines can contribute in the provision of social amenities such as schools, roads and hospitals and also contribute in the development of sub-sectors and create jobs,” he said.