Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Management in Chingola says it has not yet received official communication from government regarding the takeover but have only seen the development through media reports.
KCM corporate affairs manager Eugene Chungu said in a statement, Monday, that KCM management had sought an urgent meeting with President Edgar Lungu to discuss their challenges.
Chungu stated that he was hopeful that government would respond positively.
“Konkola Copper Mines Plc is aware of media reports, quoting the President of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in respect of a decision regarding the future of KCM. KCM is yet to receive formal communication from the Government of Zambia on this, although it has sought an urgent meeting with the President and/or the Minister of Mines. The intention of KCM and its primary shareholder, Vendetta, is to continue to engage with the Government in a constructive and transparent manner. The Government, through ZCCM-IH, is a direct and critical shareholder of KCM and its representatives who are on the KCM Board are fully apprised of and are party to the circumstances of the company and major decisions that have been taken,” stated Chungu.
“Vedanta is a long-standing investor in KCM and in Zambia, having invested over US$3 billion since the acquisition of this asset. The company employs nearly 13,000 people at its sites and operates clinics, hospitals and schools through its corporate social responsibility programme that amounts to over $210 million since 2004. The company is yet to receive a positive return on this investment while, on the other hand, taxes, duties, fuel and power costs have risen exponentially among other issues, thereby placing an enormous and unaffordable burden on the company. The most recent restrictions and duty on concentrates has negatively impacted the running of the smelter and the much needed acid to run its operations. KCM has contributed over $1.4 billion to the Zambian Exchequer since acquisition and continues to be the leading Pay as You Earn contributor in the country…KCM is seeking to meet with the Government as a matter of urgency to discuss the future of KCM and the impact that the current onerous situation is having on the company, the people of the Copperbelt and the Zambian people as a whole.”
On Friday, President Lungu announced that the decision to take over KCM was final and he had instructed the Attorney General to begin the process because the mining giant had made too many fake promises.