Zambia: Konkola Copper Mines not leaving: minister

LUSAKA – The Zambian government on Monday said Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), one of the biggest miners in Zambia, will not close its operations in the country but intends to increase its investment.

Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Christopher Yaluma said the unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources will not cease operations following operational challenges but has promised to invest more in Zambia.

The minister said the mining giant had further promised to re-open three of its closed shafts in Chingola town in Copperbelt Province, and that plans to commission its deep mine project, the Konkola Deep Project, which has a lifespan of 50 years, have reached an advanced stage.

The Konkola Deep Project, which has faced challenges in its development, will be competed in the next three years, he told state broadcaster Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

The government, he said, has since requested management to submit a comprehensive plan on its future plans and how it hopes to tackle its current challenges.

The mining firm has faced operational challenges following the plummeting of copper prices on the international market and a power deficit that crippled operations in industries.

The firm currently owes contractors and suppliers about 1 billion U.S. dollars but it has promised to dismantle the debt.

On Sunday, the firm’s chief executive officer told local media that the firm has initiated a robust program to scale up its copper production with an investment of 4 billion dollars.

The CEO said the firm was committed to pumping more money into its Zambian operations to continue expanding production, adding that it was working on doubling production.

Source: Angola Press News Agency