THE Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) has urged mining companies to be innovative in dealing with power deficit challenges by generating their own electricity to continue operating at full capacity.

And Kalumbila Minerals Limited has asked for 120 megawatts of power from Zesco for it to keep 730 miners who are about to lose jobs as a result of inadequate power supply to the Solwezi-based mine.

MUZ general secretary Joseph Chewe said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday it is time mining companies stopped relying on Zesco for their operations.

He urged them to emulate Dangote which is generating its own electricity for its operations.

Mr Chewe said the power deficit the country is facing is real and that it calls for innovation from investors in the mining sector for their companies to continue operating at full capacity and contribute to economic growth.

He said it is not safe for the mines to entirely rely on Zesco, which also has the huge challenge of servicing domestic power users and local industries in other sectors of the economy.

“Mining companies need to emulate Dangote which is producing its own power for its operations. Producing their own power will lower the cost of doing business. They should use solar energy and generators rather than entirely relying on Zesco for hydro-electricity.

They can even start selling excess power to Zesco. We don’t want mining companies to retrench workers because of inadequate power supply,” Mr Chewe said.

Meanwhile, Mr Chewe said the meeting mine unions had with management at Kalumbila mine last Friday did not yield anticipated results as the mining firm is still insisting on laying off 730 miners because of inadequate power supply to the mine. – (Lusaka Times)

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