In a historic announcement made at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre, representatives from Vedanta Resources Limited and ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc revealed a groundbreaking partnership that will usher in a new era for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in Zambia.
Key figures from both organizations, government officials, union leaders, and other stakeholders gathered for this momentous occasion, signifying a turning point in the future of KCM.
Mr. Pushpender Singla, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer of Vedanta Zinc International South Africa, addressed the audience and emphasized Vedanta’s commitment to running KCM with an ambitious vision to revitalize the asset. He lauded the reinstatement of Vedanta Resources to manage KCM, noting that the company’s global portfolio is characterized by geological discoveries, technological advancements, and a strong focus on sustainable development.
Mr. Singla outlined Vedanta’s comprehensive commitment to the KCM project, including:
- A $1 billion investment in KCM’s development.
- A $250 million payment to all local creditors.
- A $20 million annual investment in the local community through a special purpose vehicle, a Community Trust.
- A 20% increase in salaries for KCM employees.
- A one-off payment of K2500 to all employees.
He acknowledged that negotiations with stakeholders took longer than anticipated, but this was deemed necessary to ensure that all parties’ interests and the nation’s needs were addressed comprehensively. Mr. Singla added that the parties were diligently working to finalize revisions to the Shareholders’ Agreement and its implementation.
Furthermore, Mr. Singla expressed Vedanta’s commitment to supporting the Zambian Government’s ambitious goal of achieving an annual copper production of three million metric tonnes within the next decade, highlighting the positive impact this would have on the country’s economy.
In closing, Mr. Singla commended the New Dawn Government for creating an investor-friendly climate and pledged Vedanta’s dedication to working closely with the Zambian Government and its people.
Following Mr. Singla’s remarks, Mr. Kakenenwa Muyangwa, ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc Board Chairperson, expressed gratitude to the committees and stakeholders who tirelessly worked for two years to finalize negotiations. He acknowledged that the legal battles between ZCCM-IH and Vedanta had hindered KCM’s development.
Mr. Muyangwa welcomed the renewed partnership with Vedanta and highlighted that the resolution of disputes marked a new beginning for KCM. He stressed the importance of a partnership based on professionalism, integrity, honesty, and transparency.
Mr. Muyangwa outlined the significant copper ore reserves at Konkola Deep in Chililabombwe, emphasizing the potential for this world-class asset to contribute to Zambia’s copper production targets. He confirmed that Vedanta’s transition to assume KCM operations would take place in the coming months, following the finalization of necessary legal processes.
He also emphasized that ZCCM-IH’s minority shareholder rights in KCM had been enhanced and strengthened, ensuring the company’s proactive role in the development and sustainability of KCM.
In conclusion, Mr. Muyangwa thanked the ministers and technical committees for their pivotal role in resolving the disputes and expressed optimism about KCM’s future.
This announcement marks a significant milestone in the mining industry and Zambia’s economic development, with Vedanta’s substantial investment poised to reshape the future of Konkola Copper Mines.