The takeover of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by China Non Ferocious Mining Company (CNMC) is complete in all but name, well-placed sources in government and at KCM told News Diggers, Tuesday.

Making a second evaluation tour of the Chingola based KCM business unit, a CNMC delegation of over 50 Chinese nationals divided itself in departmental groups and spread to the Finance Department, Human Resource and IT to familiarise themselves with operations.

Three Chinese lawyers, on the delegation also familiarised themselves with operations at Legal Department, as other investor delegation leaders held closed door talks with management, sources told News Diggers.

“The delegation has split into various groups, with some going to the Human Resource department of KCM. Another has been seen in the IT department and the Finance and Legal departments; all of which are really critical areas for any business. It’s like a handover of some sort as the engagements are all at management level,” the source narrated.

“Things are moving fast and might be concluded any day now. As I speak to you now, a delegation of over 50 leading Chinese business people are at KCM to finalise the deal. This is the second time that they are here, but I think there is a great chance that the deal will be concluded this week or early next week, or at least within this month.”

The source said the delegation consisted mainly of Chinese men and women with a few local indigenous Zambian staff from CNMC.

“I have seen specialised teams of mostly Chinese origin, among them geologists and engineers, but some local Zambian staff from the existing CNMC operations are also here to familiarise themselves with the detail and to make sure that all is done,” explained the source.

The Chinese bidding firm which has been engaged in a vigorous campaign to up its public perception on the Copperbelt and through state controlled media, is believed to have spent a good part of the day at KCM.

“They were comfortably going in and out of offices whilst the KCM main board room serves as the central point of meeting. After the tour in Chingola, they visited Konkola Mine in Chililabombwe and the geologists even went underground to inspect the state of the mine,” said the source.

In May, the Zambian government took over Konkola Copper Mines from Vedanta Resources who owned 79 per cent shares, through a liquidation process which the latter has challenged in court.

Vedanta has further initiated arbitration proceedings in the South African court, in an attempt to take back Zambia’s biggest mining outfit, a move the Zambian government says is evil and unacceptable.

Government has since gone ahead of the court decision to invite bids from prospecting investors, putting the Chinese firm, CNMC, as favorite to take over Vedanta’s investment.

President Edgar Lungu and his Mines Minister Richard Musukwa have repeatedly told the Zambian Press that the decision to chase away Vedanta is final and impossible to reverse, regardless of any court outcome.

Meanwhile, there is a brewing revolt among KCM workers in Chingola and the Mine Workers Union on the Copperbelt who are opposed to Chinese takeover of KCM, citing exploitation of workers by other Chinese mining firms.