EXPEDITE THE KCM VEDANTA TRANSITION PROCESS
…. submit the remaining legal framework in the Zambian court, Banda urges Mines Minister
Lusaka… Thursday November 30, 2023 (SMART EAGLES)
The Advocates for National Development and Democracy (ANDD) says in order to solve the challenges contractors and suppliers are facing at Konkola Copper Mines, it is profoundly important that government expedites the Vedanta – KCM transition process so that Vedanta takes full control of operations of KCM.
The organization says this will accord the investor an opportunity to commence implementation of its strategic and corporate investment commitments.
Some contractors at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) have shut down operations at the mine due to the huge debt owed to them.
ANDD Executive Director Samuel Banda says due to the challenges at the mine, the contractors can no longer sustain their operations as a result they have downed tools.
Mr Banda says this is the reason why his organization has been calling on government to expedite the transition process so that Vedanta can quickly take over the operations of KCM and clear off the debt owed to the contractors and suppliers.
“Reports from the President of the Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors Costa Mwaba that some contractors at KCM have shut down operations due to the non payment of debt owed to them by KCM makes sad reading and it is a clear indication that KCM need urgent recapitalization. Stakeholders are lookin up to Vedanta Resources to save KCM and resuscitate it. As ANDD, our position is that government in the interest of revamping KCM, increase copper production, restoring national economic development, clearing off the debt that KCM is owing, the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Hon. Paul CC Kabuswe through ZCCM-IH should expedite the transition process of the handing over of KCM to Vedanta,” he said.
“We want government to hasten the process of withdrawing the provisional liquidator at Konkola Copper Mines to allow Vedanta Resources to set up the board of directors. We want to indicate that from the reports, KCM is actually in intensive care unit and Vedanta Resources the legal owners are ready to start operating and resuscitate the mining firm but they can only do so after the transition process.”
Mr Banda called on the Minister of Mines to finalize the remaining legal frameworks to allow Vedanta Resources to fully take over KCM.
He said the government should engage the provisional liquidator to submit the scheme of arrangement in the Zambian court and submit other legal documents in the London court of arbitration in order to speed up the transition process.
Mr Banda said it’s prudent that Vedanta Resources quickly takes over KCM to start implementing its investment commitment such as injection of US$1 billion for mine recapitalization and development, clearing off US$250 Million that KCM is owing to the suppliers and contractors, improvement of working conditions for employees.
“We want to indicate that small and medium enterprises (contractors and suppliers) are very important stakeholders in the mining sector because they play a pivotal role in promoting national economic and social development. Actually there is no country that can develop without the involvement of SME’s. In this regard Vedanta Resources should be well commended for the allocation of 250Million USD to clear off the debt that KCM is owing to suppliers and contractors,”he concluded.
He said the suppliers and contractors will be helped a lot when Vedanta takes full control of the operations of KCM hence the need to promptly finalize the transition process.