Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe has announced that Mopani Copper mine is poised to record a 52 million US Dollar profit at the end of the 2021 financial year.
Mr Kabuswe says government will soon make a policy statement on the direction of Mopani in terms of ownership.
Speaking when he toured Mopani Copper Mine in Kitwe, Mr Kabuswe said he was very happy with the impressive performance of Mopani after the departure of Glencore adding that this proves that Zambians have the human resource to manage the mines.
Challenging the mine management to be professional, the minister noted that in the run up to the August 12 general elections, a lot of people were dismissed for political reasons, a trend he said should be stopped immediately.
And Mr Kabuswe admonished the mine management to clean up the Commercial department which he said was corrupt where only a few individuals belonging to the former ruling party were given contracts.
He directed that supply contracts opportunities should not be confirmed to the same people but should be availed to all so that Zambians and also ensure that proceeds from the mines circulate within the country.
Meanwhile, Mr Kabuswe called for better conditions for the miners and also support for the community through corporate social responsibility in areas like spots and the arts sector.
And Mopani Copper Mine Chief Executive Officer ( CEO ) Charles Sakanya says the company has continued to run on a positive trajectory since the departure of Glencoe in April this year.
Mr Sakanya said despite several operational challenges being faced, the mine recorded an increase in its production from 3500 metric tonnes in the first quarter of this year to 8300 tones between April and August.
And Mr. Sakanya said that the life span for Mopani Copper mine is still long as the mine remains with ore reserves at both the Nkana and Mufulira mines with Nkana accounting for 129 million tonnes while Mufulira accounted for 23 million tonnes.
He said the company has continued to invest in the mine to increase its production and to bring in new machinery he cited as one of the biggest challenges facing the mine as the mining machinery has remained old.
The Mopani CEO further disclosed that Mopani Copper mine will this year pay 41 million US Dollars in mineral royalty alone.
And Mr. Sakanya has stated that the company has reduced the number of expatriate workers except in areas where Zambians cannot work.
He explained that mine will continue working with a lean number of expatriates to ensure exchange of knowledge to Zambians.
He further argued that Zambians can run the mine as evidenced by the progress that has been recorded by the mine while in the hands of the Zambians from the time Glencoe left in April this year.
The Mines Minister is on familiarization tour of mines on the Copperbelt where he has toured Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mine.