Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has said that disengaging Vedanta Resources Limited from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is meant to protect the workforce and engage an investor who will protect the interest of Zambians.
Mr Musukwa said that the move is not meant to nationalize the Mine, adding that President Edgar Lungu wants to ensure operations at the Mine are sustained and job losses are prevented.
He said the liquidator has been discussing with all key players owed huge sums of money by KCM. The mines minister said Government’s intervention in KCM was not made in a haste as the issues at the Mine date back as far as 2013 when the state commissioned an audit into irregularities at the Mine.
Mr Musukwa said this in Lusaka today when he held a Consultative meeting with various stakeholders who included mining experts to discuss the technical matters surrounding KCM.
He said Government realises the need to engage various stakeholders in structuring a lasting solution to the challenges at KCM.
KCM has been limping for some time now resulting in its failure to operationalise Konkola Deep Mining Project(KDMP). The Mining Company further abandoned the upper ore body project at Nchanga which could have extended the Mine life by 25 years.
Other issues include high levels of indebtedness to local and international suppliers.