…Keen to engage with ZCCM-IH to restore mine
By JOHN CHOLA
Following change of government in Zambia on August 24, 2021, bringing about a new chapter under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema, Vedanta Resources has declared its renewed commitment to invest $1.5 billion.
The investment will target the operations, communities and local economies around Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).
Vedanta Resources has also reiterated readiness to open dialogue with ZCCM-IH over KCM, the copper-producing arm of the global miner.
In a statement issued September 1, 2021, Vedanta Resources Group CEO, Sunil Duggal, stated that his organization always remained committed to re-investing US$1.5 billion into KCM, supporting the community projects and local suppliers.
Duggal explained that the US$1.5 billion investment will go into continuing to operate the integrated asset, which is envisaged to lead to a significant improvement in business and stability in jobs for employees anticipated to positively impact the lives of many Zambians.
“This will aid in rejuvenating the country’s economy and will place Zambia firmly on the map as one of the world’s leading suppliers of copper, a critical mineral for the green economy of the future of our planet. It will be primarily used to restore KCM by upgrading and improving its current infrastructure and design in order to create a more efficiently run integrated mine that operates to its full potential,” Duggal affirmed.
The investment of US$1.5 billion in the operations at KCM, Duggal said, will include US$ 200 million to pay the local suppliers of the mine in addition to the significant sums of US$ 400 million to bring in best in class ESG practices to improve health, safety and working conditions for employees as well as the allocation of US$ 100 million for community projects.
Duggal assured the new Government that Vedanta remains strongly committed to KCM, its operations and employees, local communities and the government of Zambia, just as it has been over the past fifteen years.
“KCM remains a very important asset to Vedanta and Zambia and the company is committed to ensuring the success of its operations for the benefit of its employees and surrounding communities, as well as contributing to delivering better lives for all Zambians.”
The Vedanta CEO pledged that his company’s steadfast commitment to making KCM and Zambia world leaders in copper production once again.
His team looked forward to working with the community in the Copperbelt and collaborating with President Hichilema’s new Government in any way necessary to ensure that a stable and beneficial future is achieved for all stakeholders at KCM.
According to Duggal, Vedanta is the world’s sixth largest globally diversified natural resources company which has now operated for over a decade in Zambia. Vedanta had created a world class integrated mining and metals company underpinned by strong sustainable development practices.
The Edgar Lungu government on Sunday May 19, 2019 disengaged with KCM and invoked a legal process leading to a total takeover of the mine assets.
Vedanta Resources said earlier that it had lost control of the KCM unit through liquidation in May 2019, which it valued at US$1.6 billion, describing the move as “an unfair and unjust process.”
At the time of losing control, Vedanta Resources said the Indian miner had met investment goals for the company, such as injecting US$3 billion since its acquisition in 2004.
Vedanta Resources held 79.4 per cent of KCM’s shares, with the remainder held by state-owned ZCCM-IH.