Zambia Chamber of Mines (ZCM) president Goodwell Mateyo says the manner in which President Edgar Lungu announced the fate of Konkola Copper Mines has unfortunately caused unnecessary anxiety, not only with KCM employees and its stakeholders but the wider investor community.
Responding to a press query from News Diggers following government’s decision to repossess KCM from Vendetta mineral resources, Mateyo said taking over KCM would not solve the problems of the mining industry at all.
Mateyo said he could not comment on whether or not government had the capacity to run KCM, but condemned the takeover.
“The Chamber of Mines does not support the takeover of KCM which has been and still remains a member of the Chamber of Mines. It is important to promote security of investment for investors in the country. The manner of the announcement unfortunately causes unnecessary anxiety not only with KCM and its stakeholders but also in the wider investor community. We need to look at the origins of the problems in the mining industry and urgently reconsider the changes in the mining tax regime that have resulted in many mines facing difficulty and having to rationalise their operations. Taking over KCM will not solve the problems in the industry,” Mateyo explained.
And asked if government had the capacity to run KCM, Mateyo said he had no capacity to comment on that.
“Unfortunately, I cannot speak or comment as to government’s capacity to run KCM. I lack the capacity to do so,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Mateyo said the solution to KCM’s problems was fresh capital, not repossession.
“KCM requires urgent recapitalisation. It is important that there is an investor friendly regime in place to attract such recapitalisation. That would be true even if it was a different investor that came in,” stated Mateyo.