The government has commended Barrick Lumwana mine for reducing the number of expatriates at the mine, in accordance to its Zambianisation programme .

Northwestern province Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu says it is the government’s desire to see more Zambians taking up senior positions in foreign owned companies.

“On behalf of the government, I would like to acknowledge their (Barrick Lumwana) Zambianisation programme. We have seen a drop in the number of expatriates from more than 50 in the recent past to just about less than 20, that is what government desires to see.

“We have many capable Zambians with the requisite qualifications and experience to run these jobs, like this the people of Zambia feel that they are part of these investments and that is a big plus for Barrick Lumwana management,” Mr Mubukwanu said.

The mining giant has so reduced the number of expatriates in managerial positions to about less than 20 .

And Barrick Lumwana mine General Manager, Paul Gillot said the mine will continue giving opportunities to Zambians to hold senior positions because they already have the capacity.

“It is not just about training more Zambians, what we see is that Zambians are capable already, they just need to be given an opportunity to take over the reins in the positions and that is something we are doing with vigour,” Mr Gillot said.

Mr Gillot said the mine will continue undertaking the programme with vigour by offering more training opportunities.

And speaking after he conducted a tour of the mine in Kalumbila district yesterday, Mr Mubukwanu commended the mine management for the huge step and encouraged them to continue engaging more skilled Zambians.

However, Mr Mubukwanu appealed to the mine to consider engaging more Zambian owned companies in such processes to help keep the money in circulation.

“There are quite huge sums of money going into communities through corporate social responsibility, sub-contractors and investment procurements, but we would like to see not only Zambian registered but Zambian owned companies taking part in these processes so that we help keep the money in circulation,” Mr Mubukwanu said.

He said the provincial administration is looking forward to the enactment of the local content Bill as it will give more opportunities to Zambian companies with capacity to compete for opportunities in mining firms.

SOURCE: Lusaka Times

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