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Newly appointed Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale is Monday scheduled to meet Chief Executive officers of all mining companies. The Mines Minister will discuss how the economic global crisis is affecting mining operations in Zambia.

Mr. Mwale says during the meeting, stakeholders will also discuss how the slump in global copper prices has affected copper production in the Southern African nation. On Sunday, the prices of copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell from $3,800 to $3,600 per tone.

The fall in metal prices has caused animosity in the local mining sector with some mine contractors being forced to reduce their labor force. In other instances, mining conglomerates such as the Canadian International Copper Systems which was carrying out exploration works at Mokambo in Mufulira District have suspended their activities.

Mine suppliers and contractors have further expressed worry at the fall in copper prices calling for remedial measures.

Meanwhile, North Western Province Permanent Secretary, Jeston Mulando says all is set for the establishment of a new open pit copper mine in Mwinilunga district. Mr. Mulando said Shungho Mining and Industry of Zambia has already applied for a license from the ministry of mines to start operations.

He said the company will start construction of a plant once the mining license has been approved. The Zambian Chronicle has learnt that the provincial administration has played its part by discussing with traditional leaders who have promised to offer land for the project.

He appealed to the new Minister of Mines, Maxwell Mwale to help expedite the issuance of licenses to serious investors. The new open pit copper mine is part of the K2 billion investment package by Shungho Mining in North Western province.

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