PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has ordered the reopening of Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM)’s Shaft-three whose closure resulted in the retrenchments of more than 1,000 miners.
The President said in Luanshya, when he met miners in Mpatamato Township, that LCM management had agreed to reopen the closed shaft following fruitful deliberations with mine unions.
President Lungu’s working visit on the Copperbelt has seen issues of preventing job losses and mine closures tabled highly during meetings with various mine investors.
He said the mine unions would discuss further with LCM management on how best to manage the Shaft.
“The mine has agreed that the K900 salary is too little for the miners and they have to discuss with the union further on this matter.
The mine owners agreed to open the Shaft and these issues should be negotiable,” Mr Lungu said.
The President said the union had the power to discuss with the mine owners on how they would operate once the Shaft was opened.
He said in order for operations to be sustainable, the mine should import power.
“Electricity has to be imported from Mozambique but the mining company has to pay for it which they have agreed,” he said
He said Government was concerned with the welfare of all citizens, miners inclusive.
Meanwhile, President Lungu praised Lamba chiefs for embracing everyone in their chiefdom without tribal bias.
Mr Lungu said during a public rally in Mpongwe yesterday that because of such a stance, he was proud of the traditional leadership in the area.
“Lamba chiefs are good because they do not select which tribe they should live within their chiefdom, I am proud of them. I also grew up from the Lamba land,” he said.
He also promised to increase the number of packs of farming inputs distributed under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
The President said this after receiving reports that Mpongwe received less packs of fertiliser compared to other areas.
He said people in the area should continue working hard in the agricultural sector as Government would continue to render full support.
He said Government was committed to uplifting the living standards of the less privileged.