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There are many good Chinese helping the locals, says Yu

WE produce one of the best copper cathodes in Africa from the most difficult material abandoned for more than 60 years, says Chingola’s China Copper Mines administration manager Yu Qi.

Yu was reacting to a Mast picture attached to a story on KCM miners’ wives who recently protested and urged the government not to bring in Chinese because they do not pay well.

In the story headlined, Don’t bring Chinese to takeover KCM, miners’ wives tell govt, published on this site on May 19, 2019, we erroneously attached the picture of Chingola mayor Titus Tembo getting a briefing from Yu during a tour of the Mimbula-Fitula-project.

The Mast sincerely and unreservedly apologises to Mr Yu and any other individuals affected by the picture.

According to Yu, China Copper Mines Limited is a professional hydro metallurgy mining company which has so far employed about 500 workers.

“We are in Zambia 10 years now and [have] managed [to] treat the overburden dumps from ZCCM time. China Copper Mines Produces one of the best copper cathodes in Africa market from the most difficult material abandoned for more than 60 years, and the product has been recognised by global users, meanwhile the mine keep investing all these years, and I mean literally investing but not just through publishing on the newspaper telling stories, we are practical investors, people are welcome to see our developments,” Yu said.

“Whilst the mining industry is not running good from 2014, the mine [China Copper Mines] still increased [its staffing levels] from 50 employees to 500 employees. An impressive achievement for local government.”

Yu said during the ten years of operations, China Copper Mines has “donated a lot” to the community church, school and supplied teaching materials. And did a lot of skill transfer to community members.

“Maybe there are a lot of misunderstandings between the Chinese companies/individuals and locals, but let’s not bring those individual phenomena to the culture level, people should think rationally and independently. I may not be qualified to say how good the Chinese companies are doing, but What I observed is during the worst times, when KCM laid off 8000 employees in 2014, we haven’t heard CCS (Chinese Copper Smelter), NFCA, Luanshya Copper Mines or any other big Chinese mine is laying off their workers. And those are Chinese companies, maybe we are not paying the best salary but we are with you fighting together during the worst time. There should be something more important than money in between the two nations that bring us today. Running a mine is not merely how much you can earn during good times, it carries more weight how do you survive during the bad times,” Yu said.

Yu noted that unlike other big mines that had been in Zambia for several decades, most Chinese companies just came into about 10 years ago.

He said the Chinese investors were still learning and improving.

“ There are good Chinese who are willing to help the locals and literally they are doing a lot but they don’t want to do advertisement,” he said.

Yu noted that usually bad things were published and advised that “we should not overlook the good things in our lives and focus on hatred.”

Yu said China Copper Mines always pays its workers in time and does not owe suppliers.

“People feel happy working in China Copper Mines. And our goal is to provide a sustainable and safe mining environment for our Zambian colleagues. We are in a harmonious relationship with MUZ [Mineworkers Union of Zambia] all these years, and we have increase by over 25 per cent salaries over 2018-2019, and we didn’t see other companies do that for their employees, especially the so-called ‘big players’, each and every foreign investors must respect the local culture and laws, bringing mutual benefits to the society. Only through that can we create a win-win situation, and we are aiming at that,” said Yu.

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