Mopani Copper Mines Plc General Manager-Processing, Maambo Chooye is the Mining Personality of Year 2022, an honour bestowed on him at the 2023 Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) Mining Awards Gala held at Ndola’s Protea Hotel on Friday October 27, 2023.

Mr Chooye scooped the Mining Personality of the Year Award after beating five other contestants from other mines.

In winning the award, Mr Chooye among others, demonstrated leadership in having undertaken the 2022 Biennial 45 days Smelter refurbishment shutdown, for the first time under the shareholding of ZCCM-IH, with just a Mopani in-house multi-disciplinary team and with limited external support, which shutdown resulted into an overall saving of 52 percent (US$27M) compared with the 2019 one which costed US$ 51.8M.

Mr Chooye also impressed the adjudicators with his brainchild project where he led a team of local engineers at Smelter in commissioning the Oxygen Filling Station with the capacity of producing 1 tonne medical grade oxygen per day: equivalent to 500 bottled oxygen cylinders. This was after successfully inquiring into the feasibility of tapping into Mufulira Smelter’s Cryogenic Oxygen Plant which has production capacity of 650 tonnes of oxygen per day used in the operations across the mine.

Meanwhile, Kansanshi Mining Plc was crowned Mining Company of the Year after scooping three awards out of the total eight, while Trident Mine, Barrick Lumwana, Konkola Copper Mines PLC, and Lubambe Copper Mine walked away with one award apiece.

Mopani has been crowned Mining Company of the Year more than any mining company after winning the title which gives industry-wide recognition in 2017 (for 2015 and 2016 combined), 2015 (for the 2014) and in 2014 (at the Inaugural Awards Gala for the year 2013).

The ZCM Awards are adjudicated by an independent panel of judges drawn from the academia, civil society, and line government departments, including the Mine Safety Department (MSD), the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ZEITI) and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). The ZCM Awards focuses on the mining companies’ performance in the previous year.

The full list of the eight categories and winners for the 2022 Chamber of Mines Awards are:

  1. Mining Woman of the Year 2022 (Konkola Copper Mines Plc)
  2. Mining Personality of the Year 2022 (Mopani Copper Mines Plc)
  3. Best Performer in Social Investment for the Year 2022 (FQM Trident Mine)
  4. Best Performer in Local Content for the Year 2022 (Barrick Lumwana Mine)
  5. Best Mining Employer for the Year 2022 (FQM Kansanshi Mining Plc)
  6. Best Performer in Innovation for the Year 2022 (Lubambe Copper Mine Plc)
  7. Best performer in Occupation Health and Safety for the year 2022 (FQM Kansanshi Mining Plc)
  8. Best Performer in Environmental Management for the Year 2022 (FQM Kansanshi Mining Plc)