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Nathan Chanda Expresses worry over 1000 miners losing their jobs as Baluba Mine Shaft closes

Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) Copperbelt Provincial Chairman and former Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda Bwalya has expressed worry that over 1000 miners are losing their jobs as Baluba Mine Shaft closes.

Chinese run CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines has announced plans to close its Baluba Mine Shaft in Luanshya.

The process to de-commission Baluba Mine Shaft in Luanshya has commenced with the mining firm notifying the Government through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development.

Experts from the Ministry of Mine have already visited Baluba Mine Shaft in Luanshya to assess whether or not it is no longer viable.

Commenting on the latest developments at Baluba Mine Shaft, Mr. Chanda said he sympathizes with the over 1000 miners who have lost Jobs at Baluba Mine.

He said when serving as Luanshya Mayor he did everything possible to see to it that miners did not lose jobs at China Luanshya Copper Mines.

Mr. Chanda has challenged current leaders to find solutions to the impact of job losses at Luanshya Copper Mines.

He observed that sending over 1000 miners on the streets will have negative effects on the economy of Luanshya District.

“I sympathize with over 1000 miners who have lost Jobs at Baluba Mine. When Baluba Mine was put on care and maintenance l did all I could and fought for power from CEC.When miners were on one year contracts l did everything possible to see to it that it came to end. Two to Three years contracts were offered on permanent jobs. Wherever negotiations started we worked very well with all parties involved to see to it that something was done not enough but something was done with my little influence in a win-win situation. When Baluba was opened my enemies told people lies that l brought people from Chambeshi, Mufulira, Chililabombwe and Kalulushi to come and get jobs here in Luanshya. The truth is the opposite like they say “lies have short legs.” After the closure of Baluba Mine it’s our own brothers in Luanshya who have lost jobs and l doesn’t support this move because it is not only painful but will adversely affect the economy of Luanshya and will bring poverty because of the multiplier effect,” Mr. Chanda said.

“I appeal to the leadership to sit down with the management to try and look at the plight of miners and plan on how they can be helped in the near future with Job and other empowerment opportunities. I know money will or has been paid but that’s not enough. JCHX has many contracts with other mines and can be told to relocate some miners elsewhere and others can be taken by the parent company in a phased approach whenever vacancies are available and rooming opening of 28 shafts and in other new sites including upgrading our brothers at 15 MCC. Leadership is about Influence and engagement,” he said.

Meanwhile, CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines says it is investing in mineral exploration in order to sustain the life of the mine.

Mine spokesperson Sydney Chileya said the Chinese run mine has allocated $3 million toward exploration.

Mr. Chileya said the mine in Luanshya has a bright future despite concerns from the public.

And Mr. Chileya has told Radio Icengelo News that the process to close Baluba Shaft is yet to be completed.

CNMC acquired an 85% stake in Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM) in 2009 for US$ 50 million from Enya Holdings BV (Enya) following the suspension of operations at Baluba Centre Mine in the advent of the Global Financial Crisis.

Immediately post-acquisition, CNMC changed the name of the mine to CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines (CNMC-LCM), and it initially held an 85% shareholding stake in CNMC-LCM, and later transferred a 5% stake to ZCCM-IH to achieve a 80 %: 20% shareholding structure per the terms of the acquisition.

Therefore, ZCCM-IH currently holds a 20% stake whilst CNMC holds an 80% stake.