MINES AND Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe says government is still in discussions with stakeholders on the way forward with regards Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines and will therefore not give out any half baked information despite public pressure.
In an interview, Wednesday, Kabuswe said government was still working out the best way forward for the two mines and would soon give a comprehensive statement.
“Whatever speculations are there my friend, government is going to make a comprehensive statement on KCM when we are done with what we are doing. We cannot give you half baked information, we need to give you conclusive statements. So we cannot give you any for now because we have not concluded yet on whatever we are doing. We can’t give you anything now because we are still working behind the scenes to make sure that we resolve these matters. So for now, we can’t give anything conclusive,” he said.
“When you are engaging with stakeholders and whoever we are engaging with, we cannot divulge that, then it will prejudice whatever we are doing. It is like you want me to give you a plate of nshima in the middle of cooking it, unless I finish cooking it then I give you. So that is the position. Don’t worry, we are anxious as everybody else on KCM and Mopani, we need to finish yesterday. So very soon the dust will settle.”
When asked whether government was considering giving back the mine to Vedanta, Kabuswe said he couldn’t comment on matters which were in court.
“Vedanta has taken us to court so we can’t comment on that, it will be contemptuous for us to comment on that,” he said.
Kabuswe said the UPND government wanted to restore order in the mining sector.
“That is why you see me gallivanting all over the country because we have to bring order. There was no order, things were just flying all over the country. Why we are familiarising ourselves is actually to appreciate how the scenario is countrywide in terms of mining. We are going to see a mining sector that is organized and that is giving payment dues to government and the people of Zambia,” said Kabuswe.
Recently, Actionaid Zambia challenged government to give a clear position on KCM and Mopani to quell suspicion that there were plans to sell these mines.