By JOHN SAKALA
Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) says it is committed to developing all its assets safely and productively.
Among the assets is the abandoned Fitwaola Open pit mine which the Ministry of Mines wants back on track.
This comes after the Ministry of Mines had earlier this week announced that KCM has been defaulted for failing to develop the Fitwaola Open mine.
See also: KCM charged over Fitwaola
KCM Corporate Affairs General Manager Eugene Chungu has told The Independent Observer the mine wants to develop Fitwaola in a safe and productive manner.
Mr Chungu said once developed the asset would contribute to Zambia becoming a major copper and cobalt producer in Africa.
He said the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Development share an interest in optimally turning to account the minerals held by KCM.
“We engage frequently in the interests of finding solutions that work for both parties and indeed the people of Zambia.
“In fact, the Zambian Government – as a shareholder of KCM plays a role in developing the strategic direction and success of the company, and is part of its highest decision-making structures,” he said.
He said the Ministry has many avenues and discretion which it uses to ensure that all mining activities are compliant with the law and regulations under the provisions of the Mines and Mineral Development Act.
Mr Chungu said one such avenue is a Default Notice which is intended, among other things, to request a licence holder like KCM to furnish the Ministry with information on matters that the Ministry may request.
“The Ministry and KCM have had fruitful engagements on the Default Notice and KCM’s response, and a series of meetings led to a constructive workshop involving KCM Senior leadership and senior officials at the Ministry on 27 and 28 August 2018. We are confident that this workshop has led to greater clarity and mutual understanding on issues of common concern. Further agreed steps will be followed in the coming weeks,” he said.
Government through the Ministry of Mines had earlier this week announced that KCM had been defaulted for failing to develop the Fitwaola Open mine.