By JOHN SAKALA
Government has revealed that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has been defaulted for failing to develop the Fitwaola Open pit.
The revelation comes after one of Chingola resident Kafiswe Chongo told The Independent Observer that the Fitwaola Open pit has been abandoned despite having high grade of copper.
Mr Chongo likened the open pit to an open cheque which can create over 3, 000 jobs for Chingola and Chililabombwe if fully operated.
In response, Government says KCM has been defaulted and given a 60 days ultimatum in which to respond why Government must not repose the Fitwaola open pit.
Mines Permanent Secretary Paul Chanda said KCM had been defaulted for failing to develop the area.
Mr Chanda said once KCM tenders its response Government would review the respond and see if the reasons given merit repossessing it or not.
He said the repossession can only be done by Cabinet review.
“We are still waiting for KCM response in which it should give Government serious justification why it cannot be repossessed. KCM needs to give Government convincing mining plans over the area if they have any.
“We wrote to them in September and they gave a response and around early October but we were not convinced and we wrote to them for clarification and gave a detailed response followed by a presentation of their plans for the whole Mine not Fitwaola alone. The ministry will give the final position in due course,” he said.
And KCM General Manager Eugene Chungu said the mining firm had initially responded and needs more guidance from the Ministry of Mines so that it addresses all concerns raised by the ministry.