By JOHN SAKALA
A company on the Copperbelt in Chingola Rudra Copper Limited is set to invest USD 41 million in the processing of copper from the slag commonly known as the ‘Black Mountain’ into Copper and cobalt.
Rudra Copper Limited intends to establish a fully integrated copper industry with little or no waste as the by product will be transformed into pavers and other construction related materials.
This came to light when the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) team led by the Board Chairman Fisho Mwale went for a familiarisation tour of the company in Chingola recently.
Mr Mwale discloses that the company has so far invested over $10 million whilst the remaining $31 million will be invested over a period of 3 years.
He adds that so far the company has employed 50 Zambians in the initial phase and is looking to employ over 200 people in the next 6 months when the company becomes fully operational.
He notes that some of the people employed are ex-miners as the company looks to transfer skills and technology to locals.
The Board chairman commends Rudra Copper Limited for their investment which will create sustainable jobs on the Copperbelt and indicates that the investment will catalyse the formalisation of a small scale miners with the view of encouraging them to further diversify once the slag dotted across the province is exhausted.
Mr Mwale reiterates the need for the company to prioritise local business development through local partnerships, business linkages and domesticated supply chain systems to further augment their local job creation strategies.
He further encourages local suppliers and small scale miners to formalise their business to enable them tap into this business opportunity.
The board chairman assured the company of ZDA’s support to help the company attain its strategic objectives as the success of the company will have cascading positive social and economic impact on the Zambian people.
And Rudra Managing Director Siddharth Patel disclosed that they will also be sourcing the slag from mining companies across the country as well as local small scale miners known as ‘Jerabos’.
Mr Patel explains that this will create ready market for the small scale miners whilst maintaining steady flow of copper concentrate to the mining companies.
He adds that the company will further be diversifying by investing into avocado production through an out grower scheme due to an increased demand for avocado oil on international markets.
This is according to a media statement made available by ZDA Acting Manager Communications and Public Relations Kabwe Phiri.