Consortium Of CSOs Petitions Minister Of Mines To Finalize The Vedanta KCM Transition Process By Mid January 2024

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CONSORTIUM OF CSOs PETITIONS MINISTER OF MINES TO FINALIZE THE VEDANTA KCM TRANSITION PROCESS BY MID JANUARY 2024

Wednesday January 3, 2024

The Consortium of Civil Society Organizations championing the revamping of the mining sector, has petitioned the minister of mines, Hon. Paul Kabuswe over the delay for Vedanta Resources to fully take over Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

The CSOs wants the Minister in charge of mines to update the nation on the exact time frame within which Government will precisely conclude the KCM-VEDANTA legal transition process, withdraw the provisional liquidator Ms Celine Nair, and allow KCM to begin operating effectively, efficiently and optimally.

Consortium Lead Samuel Banda has emphasized in the petition that the CSOs want the minister of mines to expedite the KCM Vedanta transition process and finalized it by mid January 2024.

Banda says this issue has been protracted for too long, despite assurances from the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development on the 5th of September last year 2023, that the transition process would only take three months.

“As advocates for a viable mining sector, we want to see serious progress and investment in the mining sector which is our primary economic backbone and cornerstone for economic development and growth as it accounts for around 80% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). We are however, taken aback considering the fact that the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon Paul Kabuswe last year in September announced that following the signing of an agreement with Vedanta Resources outside court, the investor would have taken over KCM within three months. We are in January now and we do not know what is going on. We understand that provisional liquidator at KCM is still there making it impossible for Vedanta to fully take over the operations of KCM,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the 3 months already elapsed on 5th December 2023, without a clear transition process roadmap, as evidenced by lack of withdrawal of the provisional liquidator at KCM, which is a huge setback to the legal transition process. As a consortium, we are therefore appealing to the Minister of Mines, Honourable Paul Kabuswe to expedite the KCM Vedanta transition process so that Vedanta Resources can fully take control of KCM.”

Banda said this will facilitate and pave the way for the implementation of their strategic investment commitments, among them, the injection of over $1Billion for recapitalization and mining development, Improve working conditions, inject the $20 Million, for Corporate Social Responsibility programs that will address critical sectors such as health, agriculture and sports, as well as clear off $250Million owed to suppliers and contractors.

“We wish to further indicate that President Hakainde Hichilema’s ambitious target of achieving 3 million metric tonnes of copper production target per annum by 2031 is highly dependent on the successful operations of KCM,” he added.

Speaking at the same event in Lusaka, Zambians for Unity Peace and Development (ZUPED) President Ronnie Jere said government should ensure that the mining sector runs smoothly.

Jere said Hon Kabuswe promised that the transition process will only take three months but now it’s beyond the timeframe the government gave itself.

“It is very important that government gets on board and sort out these issues in the mining industry. For example, we have the brutal depreciation of kwacha, mass unemployment, high cost of living and we also have low business opportunities in the country. If we had sorted out the issues at KCM, it would have helped us as a country to solve some of those challenges,” he concluded.

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