…can create over 3, 000 jobs
By NAMUTENGA SAKAPILA
Fitwaola Mine is an open cheque with capacity to create more than 3,000 jobs, yet no one in leadership is remotely concerned with its dormancy.
A member of The Independent Observer (TIO) Politics WhatsApp forum tipped Nchanga Member of Parliament Chali Chilombo that Fitwaola is a prime job creator.
Kafiswe Chongo advised Mr Chilombo that Fitwaola open pit has good grade of copper ore with the belt stretching from Chingola to Kinsenda border.
Mr Chongo who was reacting to Mr Chilombo said Mimbula copper dump site can create 3, 000 jobs for youths.
He said Fitwaola has a long stretch of copper ore not yet mined as compared to the mined damp sites with lower grades.
“Once activated the open pit can benefit the people of Chingola and Chililabombwe to get sustainable jobs. The three MPs responsible for the development of the three constituencies namely Chingola, Nchanga and Chililabombwe have given a blind eye to this.
“Chingola, Nchanga and Chililabombwe Lawmakers have turned a blind eye on real issues affecting the people. Fitwaola is open cheque which can create jobs and end high levels of unemployment in the three constituencies. If you look at the population compositions of the three constituencies majority are the youth with grade 12 certificates,” he said.
Mr Chongo said Fitwaola was once called the future of Nchanga mining but since its takeover by Konkola Copper Mines the Fitwaola has since gone under.
He told Mr Chilombo that he was on the right track in pushing for sustainable jobs for youths in Nchanga.
He said Mr Chilombo’s word should be backed up by actions.
“Go and team up with Chingola MP, Matthew Nkhuwa and Chililabombwe MP, Richard Mususkwa to push for either handover of the Fitwaola open pit to the community or its reopening,” he said.
In 2007, KCM had hired JES Mining to operate the Fitwaola Open pit.
Sadly, JES Mining lasted for under a year and was liquidated leaving 405 employees jobless after it failed to honour its loan commitments to the bank which had loaned it all mining equipment.
According to KCM Technical Assessment Report done in 2008 by IMC Group Consulting Ltd, Fitwaola open pit mine is located about 20 km from Chingola.
It was discovered in the 1950s with commercial production commencing in August 2005.
The copper mineralisation is developed over an 800 metre strike length and dips relatively steeply at 75 to 80 degress, being six to seven metres thick at surface.
It comprises malachite and chrysocolla in the oxide zone along with minor some of the acid-insoluble copper is refractory and contained in micas or wad. Gangue acid consumption (GAC) was low and the ore was used as a direct feed to the Nchanga Leach Plant.
Mining of ore was to be at the rate of approximately 65,000 tons per month.