President Edgar Lungu has commissioned the synclinorium shaft at Mopani Copper Mines in Kitwe.
The 3 hundred and 23 Million US dollars project is set to extend the life span of the mine to between 25 and 30 years.
Speaking when he commissioned the shaft, President Lungu says the shaft is a mark of confidence in governments resolve to turn around the economy of the Copperbelt and the country as a whole.
The President urged Zambians not to be cheated because the PF is ready and able to deliver development.
The President disclosed that Genclore the owners of Mopani Copper Mines has further set aside 1 point 1 billion US Dollars for a number of projects aimed at transforming Mopani into a modern mining operation.
The President noted that these investments will make the mine more resilient to global metal price shocks because they will be cost effective and more adaptive to various other challenges.
This investment covers two other similar investments in Mufulira and Mindola where Mopani is sinking two deep shafts to be the deepest in Africa.
And speaking at the same function, Mopani Copper mines Chief Executive Officer Johan Jansen said the commissioning of the shaft has given a beacon of hope to employees and various business entities on the Copperbelt.
Mr Jansen said the project is of great economic significance not only to Mopani but the whole country.
And Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma says despite the slump in commodity prices , Zambia ‘s mining sector has continue to record positive growth.
Mr Yaluma says the sector has recorded a 2 percent growth following Copper Production of 7 hundred and 10 thousand 5 hundred and 60 Metric tonnes compared to last year’s 7 hundred and 8 thousand 2 hundred and 4 metric tonnes.
Meanwhile, Mines Workers Union of Zambia President Chishimba Nkole appealed to Mopani Copper Mines to re-engage some of the retrenched miners at the shaft.
Mr Nkole says Mopani’s massive investment has given a ray of hope to the country’s economy and job sustainability.
And Kitwe Chamber of Commerce President Allan Nyirenda has urged small and medium entrepreneurs- SMEs to explore new business opportunities in the city.
Mr. Nyirenda says SMEs should take advantage of the development projects in Kitwe to grow their businesses.
He cited the construction of the Edgar Lungu Shopping mall, which he says will create opportunities for SME’s in the Province.
Mr. Nyirenda however advised small and medium scale entrepreneurs to provide quality products and services to the public.
He was speaking this morning when he appeared on Kitwe’s Morning Live News and Current Affairs Programme.