Natotela, Mupalwe mukwai, Nicholas Woolley thanks Chingola residents for accepting Mimbula Mine
By DERRICK SINJELA, SIMON BANDA, HENRY CHUNZA and MALVIN NKHOMA
“I joined President Hakainde Hichilema to open Mimbula mine in Chingola. A big investment by UK firm Moxico Resources that will produce 56,000 tonnes of copper annually and has already created 900 Zambian jobs. It is important that Zambians see benefit of this responsible investment” – Nicholas Woolley, UK High Commissioner to Zambia
High Commissioner Woolley first visited Mimbula mine in October 2021, and is astonished to witness the progress made under 18 months, evident by President Hichilema opening the ore industry in Zambia’s Cleanest Town, on Wednesday, 15th March, 2023.
On that first visit, accompanying the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Zambia, Mr. Woolley recollected the mine receiving a $73m injection from UK firm Moxico Resources to build new facilities and breathe new life into a mine which – to all intents and purposes – hadn’t operated effectively for decades.
“The pits were filled with water – but Mimbula’s new Zambian workforce were filled with a desire to transform the site. And to their enormous credit, so they have,” said Commissioner Woolley.
During her visit to Lusaka last April (2022) for the first global launch of British International Investment, the then Minister for Africa Vicky Ford announced Moxico would invest a further $100m in its operations here in Mimbula.
Moxico’s announcement represented, at the time, the largest single Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under the new Zambian administration, bringing the firm’s overall investment in Mimbula to around $180m.
Commissioner Woolley is delighted that additional capital has enabled the mine to invest further in its workforce – now numbering over 900 and 95% Zambian – and in Mimbula’s construction, helping them meet the remarkable target of commencing production by the end of 2022.
“Mr. President, distinguished guests,
since that time, Zambia has attracted significant new streams of investment from across the world. In the first 12 months of the UK-Zambia Green Growth Compact, signed during the President’s official visit to the UK in November 2021, British multinationals have announced over £1 billion of new investments into Zambia’s green economy, with a £2 billion pipeline of potential future investments by UK and UK-backed firms in critical minerals and clean energy production – investments that support an ever increasing number of Zambian jobs, Zambian businesses, and Zambian livelihoods,” an elated Commissioner Woolley told President Hichilema.
British companies are not alone in responding to the Zambian government’s firm desire to put the country on a sustainable path to growth – implementing vital economic reforms; generating a predictable business environment; and addressing issues of governance such as corruption which have long plagued the industry.
“Continued progress in all these areas remains vital to attracting clean, competitive, and reliable investment of the type which benefits all Zambians. Mr. President, distinguished guests,
Under our Green Growth Compact, the UK government and our UKAid-funded private sector development partner Prospero are also supporting Zambian SMEs to grow their markets and their businesses. We recently celebrated the milestone of facilitating over $100m of investments into these small Zambian businesses, many of whom operate here on the Copperbelt servicing and supplying the mines – meaning that engines, equipment, even fire extinguishers, that used to be sent to South Africa for servicing, can now be re-tuned, re-furbished, or replaced here in Zambia by a skilled and growing Zambian workforce,” said Commissioner Woolley.
Commissioner Woolley says heralding on its official opening the remarkable progress that has been made at Mimbula, Commissioner Woolley says a combination of British and Zambian endeavour to sow seeds for future success and prosperity.
Flashback;Britain’s Moxico Resources plans to invest $100 million to expand its majority-owned Mimbula copper mine in Zambia, UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said on Wednesday.
The investment will create new jobs and increased tax revenues for Zambia’s government, Ford said in a statement released by the British High Commission in Zambia while she was on a visit to the country.
Ford was visiting Zambia to launch a new investment model, which she said marked a key moment for Britain’s financing of private sector growth and infrastructure across Africa.
“We are committed to supporting countries grow their own economies, bolster private sector investment and trade, and deliver the returns that will support wider socio-economic development,” Ford said.
The Mimbula Copper Project is located in Zambia’s copper belt on the outskirts of Chingola town, more than 400 km north-west of Lusaka.
The copper-rich deposit is located on a large-scale mining licence held by Moxico Resources through its Zambian subsidiary, Mimbula Minerals.
Moxico holds an 85% ownership in the licence holding company and 15% is held by Moxico’s Zambian partners. The mining licence was granted in May 2017, with a validity for 25 years.