ZUFIAW CAUTIONS GOVERNMENT TO ENSURE THAT ZAMBIA DERIVES MAXIMUM BENEFITS FROM THE NEWLY LAUNCHED NICKEL MINE
2nd August, 2022
The Zambia Union of Financial Institutions and Allied Workers ZUFIAW General Secretary Mr. Kasapo Sundrea Kabende has congratulated the new dawn Government and First Quantum Mine on the launch of the biggest Nickel Mine in Africa at a cost of $250m. “This is a big milestone and will open other trade and investment opportunities for Zambia. ZUFIAW is excited about the prospective 700 permanent jobs that will be created which will contribute to changing the lives of many Zambians. We are certain more jobs will be created by the local Manufacturers, Suppliers and Contractors and this will help meet the Government’s agenda of creating meaningful employment for citizens, especially the youths.” He Said.
“The Mining sector is the largest contributor to the Zambian economy hence this development will accelerate economic growth and create business opportunities for many sectors both in the retail and corporate space. Creating a robust value addition processing system within the country will ensure that the country derives more benefits from this mining opportunity. The industry that will be created around this mine shall further employ more citizens and contribute to the overall economic portfolio of the country. This shall also contribute to the increase in trade volumes which the local banks and other financial institutions can capitalize on. As the largest Union in the financial sector, ZUFIAW is positive this will bring business opportunities for our social partners.” He observed.
He however, noted that there was need to ensure that the country derives maximum benefits from this project through localizing some of the refinery processes after extraction. This would promote the establishment of plants specialized in nickel plating, thermal expansion alloys, magnetic alloys, high strength steel and stainless steel considering the already existing market for copper and nickel alloys given their corrosion resisting applications. He further called upon the Government through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises to ensure that the Mine gives priority to local Manufacturers, Suppliers and Contractors in line with Government’s policy of empowering and creating business opportunities for the locals.
“As a Union, we are also interested in learning how this new mine shall handle aspects of material, water, and energy efficiency to reduce the environmental footprint and general impact of the surrounding areas. There is need to ensure that all mining waste management and impact minimization strategies are in place as the mining activities commence.” He stated.
Mr. Kabende reiterated that ZUFIAW shall continue to voice out on national issues affecting workers as well as provide checks and balances to the Government.
Kasapo Sundrea Kabende