Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe has urged Zambians to be patient until 2026 to assess whether the government has succeeded in managing the mining sector, which is currently in a state of flux due to efforts to reorganize the extractive industry.
Mr. Kabuswe also announced that construction of an electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant will begin in the next three months, with feasibility studies and other regulatory processes currently underway in Ndola, where the plant will be located.
Speaking today 24.01.2023 on Tuesday’s edition of the “Let the People Talk” program, Mr. Kabuswe acknowledged that the current state of the mining sector is causing him concern, particularly regarding the economic condition of towns on the Copperbelt, which have dilapidated infrastructure and roads.
He also hinted at upcoming legislation to determine social benefits for mining host communities and the level of business that mines should offer to Zambian companies.
Most mining assets are expected to be unlocked by the first quarter of 2023, as announced by President Hakainde Hichilema last year.
The minister emphasized the need for a motivated workforce in the mining sector, as well as the need to liquidate the over $300 million that Konkola Copper Mine owes to suppliers and contractors, create new jobs at legacy mines, and revitalize corporate social responsibility programs.