Message Lun 27 Fév 2012 08:23

2 investors show interest in Nickel mine – Simuusa

Two investors have so far shown interests to take over the operations at the defunct Albidon Munali Nickel mine in Mazabuka.

Mines and Natural Resources Minister Wilbur Simuusa says government has made head ways in ensuring that a potential and suitable partner is found for the mine.

Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Lusaka last week, Mr. Simuusa said currently government is just scrutinizing the investors to ensure that an appropriate partner who will improve the operations at the mine is found.

Mr Simuusa noted that the current problems at the mine need an effective and efficient investor who will be able to work hard and improve the situation.

He explained that government will make sure that it advises the investor on how best they can improve and address the problems.

Mr. Simuusa cited poor working conditions as one of the problems that needed urgent attention hence government will strive to ensure that the investor who will be selected is properly advised for the betterment of the workers welfare.

He added that government is also interested in finding a partner that will be able to retain the entire workforce.

Mr Simuusa further disclosed that despite the mine not doing any productions workers have continued to receive their salaries.

The Minister stressed that this was in line with government policy of promoting job creation for the people in the country.

Munali nickel mine last year in November halted production citing cash-flow problems caused by lower global nickel prices as well as operational disruptions at Zambia’s sole nickel miner.

According to the management mine suffered a spate of operational disruptions since early last year, ranging from miners’ strikes to accidents, leading to several stoppages.

To minimize losses, the company halted output pending a restricted program as well as an investment partner to recapitalize the mine.

However, government described the halting of production at the mine as premature as it was not informed before such a decision was made.