A MANGANESE mine has been opened in Chief Mushota’s area in Kawambwa district, in Luapula Province, where it is targeting to employ about 500 local people. The company, which is trading as Stone Age Mining, has been carrying out mining explorations in the area since 2018 before it finally started operating late last year.
Chief Mushota said in an interview yesterday that the company has projected to engage 500 local people when it starts operating at full capacity. He said the mining equipment has already been sent to the district and it is being used to mine for the manganese. Chief Mushota said some houses for the workers have also been built so that they are accommodated near the mine. “A Chinese company has opened a mine after the owners realised that my chiefdom is endowed with manganese,” he said.
The traditional leader has made it clear with the company’s management on the need for them to employ the local people so that they can be equipped with knowledge and skills on how to operate the mine. He is hopeful that creation of jobs for his subjects will translate into improvement of the economic status of his chiefdom. Chief Mushota also said he has agreed with the owners of the company to ensure that they work on a 35-kilometre stretch of the road which leads to the mine.
He said the company management has also assured him that they will build a bridge across a stream in the chiefdom as a way of contributing to infrastructure development in the area of their operation. And four people belonging to community village banking groups in Chief Mushota’s area have undergone training in financial literacy. Chief Mushota said the four people were trained by the Financial Sector Deepening Zambia on ways in which they can grow their banking groups so that they remain sustainable. He said most of his subjects have joined the village banking groups, which are helping them to sustain their families.