Saturday, June 15, 2024

KCM – a disaster waiting to happen?


KCM Closes East Mill Plant

Dear Editor,

I am writing to highlight something which the the political leadership in this country does not seem to know anything about. The other day Konkola Copper mines (KCM) closed one of the plants (east mill).

This plant used to have a lot of employees and so far their fate is still unknown. This is only the beginning of worse things to come because the Indians have failed to run this very viable mine properly.

We don’t know why the government has failed to see that KCM is a disaster in waiting. It is a time bomb and if the government doesn’t want to do something about it, they will be caught unaware. The entire company will close as the so called investors don’t even have an idea of how to run a mining company. The government should start looking for another investor otherwise they will look very irresponsible.

This is a timely warning. Political leaders should spend time attending to serious issues than insulting each other. The foreign affairs minister the other day visited KCM plants and was moving around KCM plants with KCM management and asking lower level employees questions about the company in the presence of KCM management. Wilbur Simusa must realize that KCM management didn’t vote for him.

He should have met the workers alone so that they are able to tell him the truth. Please we the people that work there are seeing these things and the situation is very desperate. Don’t be cheated by the KCM adverts you see on ZNBC tv. The indians are just buying time. This will be another BINANI disaster that the Indians brought to Luanshya.

Concerned Employee


  1. Sorry my friend, we at PF are too busy fighting and jostling for positions to replace the king cobra to worry about you guys there. Dont worry, once you guys do the resonsible thing and vote for a sensible leader next term who might help. You might want to vote for HH who needs some more cows after the theft the last time. Remember he got those from helping find a suitable buyer for your mine.

  2. These are the tale-tale signs of a failed state. There is clearly a problem of leadership starting from the very top and the sooner this is addressed the better for the masses. Sometimes you wonder whether MCS is aware of the gravity of what is going on; what with the medication and all. Every minister is commenting on everything and everywhere. The country is in melt-down with all the strikes taking place.

    • They have started beating up DCs, next will be the Ministers and finally we will see what happened to Bush in the Middle East. it will be like in 1991.

    • @Ifwe, how else would you describe what is going on? Bury our heads into sand and call it a success? Definitely not! I am actually glad that Zambian employees within KCM are raising the alert. Once bitten by BINANI, every stake holder of Zambia on the planet, and that includes you Ifwe, should be twice shy with KCM goings-on. Ever heard of the saying “Trick me once, shame on you. Trick me twice shame on me”. I am an ex-miner, son of an ex-miner, married to an ex-miner’s daughter and we all worked damn hard and took pride in our work ethics. So when some half baked foreigner like BINANI comes in and wrecks and short-changes my Country and its future generations, he is an enemy within, along with all those trying to shield such a company. We all know that in spite of the ….

    • Cont/d……… We all know that in spite of the recent short-term slow-down in price increases, Copper is still doing much much better on the market (Over US$7,200/tonne) than it did at the time of privatisation in 2000 (about USD2,500/tonne), and the future outlook of Cu worldwide demand is bright because alternative sources of renewable energy (i.e. Solar panels & accessories, Wind turbines & accessories, etc..) are even more copper intensive than traditional methods. So, what’s the problem KCM?

    • @cactus,why dont you come back home from the diaspora and invest in these mines?? I mean,you being a Zambian investor in a company located in Zambia would run this business better…I believe in pointing out problems and suggesting solutions,rather lvng things in the balance…please educate us on how this can be resolved sir.Thank you

    • @Cleo, Did you know that according to World Bank, Zambia has the largest known reserves of copper in Africa? which is a massive 6% of the World’s reserves? So, seriously, what makes you think I have not already invested smartly in my Country? You think I am not currently busy expanding my portfolio with a long-term view based precisely on the positive future outlook I have explained? I think with due respect you are in over your head on this topic. End of story.

    • @ Cactus,
      Good to know you are doing what is best for our country, however, i think you misunderstood Cleos point, read through her statement and request again, you will realise that your response to her is in a different direction.

    • Thank you Cindy…think mr cactus is running away from a debate….sir,you are talking of copper reserves,don’t you know that Mongolia has more copper seserves than Zambia and possiby Chile??…and it is near china and india..this fact alone puts Zambia in a compromising situation,our prduct will be less competitive…..sir if KCM is pulling out,you must be happy instead of complaining,I mean,you claim to be in investor in our mines,violà the door for more investment and less competition has opened for you!!…lets be truthful in our debate rather play mental games…All the respect sir.Thank you

  3. Sad reading. If that’s the situation on the ground please those with first hand information inform relevant authorities including your Union, the Minister of Mines before its too late.

  4. I suspect that the government is aware of the issues facing KCM. The problem is they do not want to attract public attention to these issues. PF don’t want headlines about job losses to add to their political woes. When KCM announced that they needed to reduce their head-count, the government threatened them. To remain viable, KCM still needs to get rid of a lot of people. Therefore, they are doing it quietly and slowly. Let’s hope they get through this lean period and get back to profitability.

  5. This is not news. Vendata has never being ready to run KCM.

    We all know how Vendata in principle haven’t invested any of there money in KCM, yet they give a completely different story, to those that do not know what’s happening.

    • Ignorance is a terrible disease. If you don’t know then don’t comment. KCM has just commissioned 2 New Concentrators and decommissioned the Old Plants. A new Smelter has also been built. The investment here was well above $2Billion. Go to KCM and see the new Plants for yourself.

  6. Man do you really think government is nt aware,they are 100% informed,do you knw who own ZCCM & how much shares it has in KCM,its our GRZ,& they have two representative in KCM whatever goes on in that board cabinet has to approve,right now GRZ had sighned an agreement to reduce cost of prodution,even that 2000 retrachment government approved it,so just be prepared more is to come.

  7. It is really too late to save KCM. KDMP was the only hope for the company but has is a failed project due to irresponsible decision making by Indians.

  8. There is too much speculation in the country and the corporates must remove that a simple Press statement and communique will save much and remove speculation and what the many negatives can say.

    There is no pull out as it doesnot make sense to parade the minister touring KDMP and announcing good prospects and then tomorrow there is a closure.Disclosure of information will help KCM to insulate itself as to its plans and operation 2 Minutes on ZNBC is enough to shape the minds of people as to the future

    • Your comment makes a lot of sense but KCM can not be drawn into answering all useless speculations as the one in the article above. If they are prophets of doom let them give us a day when KCM will close. Whatever day they will give it will come to pass and KCM will still be on its feet or wheels.

  9. I don’t think the government is to blame for KCM’s failure to run the government!! Blame the market for the poor pricing of the metal….am looking forward to a day we,Zambians,will reason together and look at ways of improving lives and working conditions in zambia,rather blaming GRZ on everything going wrong….Thank you.

    • @Cleo, in spite of the recent short-term slow-down in price increases, Copper is still doing much much better on the market (Over US$7,000/tonne) than it did at the time of privatisation in 2000 (about USD2,500/tonne), and the future outlook of Cu worldwide demand is bright because alternative sources of renewable energy (i.e. Solar panels & accessories, Wind turbines & accessories, etc..) are even more copper intensive than traditional methods.

    • @ Cactus our chamber of menerals does not see that,it sees copper prices going down in the short term range…we need to understand that KCM is a private run entreprise,they have there profits and interests to protect!..they are,most likely trying to save much amid the darkness forseen by our chamber of mines**…..Haven’t you heared that all mining companies are currently negotiting for tax breaks with GRZ?…They all believe copper prices will slow down,and our government has jobs to protect and inflation to controle,so they need tax exemptions**…,ZCCM must be revitalised!! it must be floated on the Luse so zambians can directly invest in our mines so as to protect national interest…

    • @Cleo – Chamber of Menerals? What is that? You mean Chamber of Mines? Look, Cleo no offence, this topic is outside your comfort zone. Have a good day.

    • Is it that difficult to be factuall??…I wonder why you are running away from a realistic,head to head debate!!…If you think this topic is too big for me,bring out those points to shut me up sir!

  10. Indians Indians Indians Indians,please let them pack up and go. Hopefully they get the Asian cousins(china man) as well.Asians are never good investors.They are too poor where they come from to spend meaningfully on us monkeys(africans).They are more of infesters than investors.I hope now Zambians can wake form slumber.Such docil people.What a shame.One can`t help but envy the asians.they come knowing too well how docile africans are,and they rip super profits.For us monkeys,It all ends in complaints to def politicians.shame indeed.

    • @Tumiso

      Me and my people are not monkeys.May be you are truly a monkey for accepting that you are one.

      Please stop generalising.If you feel monkeyish don’t suppose every African feels the same way. Thats primitive thinking.

    • @ tumiso

      I only wish you understand what you are talking about. Its wise to stay quiet if you have nothing on your mind.

  11. This is a timely warning indeed – first the Indians outsourced all the jobs to contracts like giant Brazilian U&M Mining(Cop F), Moolmans(Cop A), Grinaker LTA(Chililabombwe) – the govt then MMD talked about this but nothing happened and all we saw after the change of govt from MMD to PF these contracts left remaining employees without jobs both in Chingola and Chililabombwe. During this time KCM had promised to take all the employee that were under the contracts but upto now this is has no been done.
    Am appealing to PF govt to move in quickly before Chingola becomes a dead town like kabwe also – these Indians have truly failed to run KCM and its time they leave the mine for serious investors. When you look at U&M Mining new site it really hates seeing the mining trucks parked because of…

  12. iwe is LT labour offices or Sata or mines minister or union officials? why can’t you direct your energy to relevant autholities, watchdog manners atase. always alarming people!!!!

  13. KCM is working with the government why is it that when the copper prices are dropped they are busy announcing but they go high you never hear even a minister talk about it. This is also giving a superiority picture to these fake investors and mostly deteriorating the working culture. sad and shame!!!!

  14. I like what these indians are doing to these cadres. the best teacher is experience. those that were voting by instinct are the same that are experiencing the effects of voting on tribal lines and not merit. the chingola people voted enmass for sata despite being told that he does not posses characteristics of a good leader/economist. infact he is just a clown, well enjoy the suffering, you asked for it

    • Are you truly patriotic Zambia? How do you blindly praise the wrongs? Do you have any idea on the number of innocent families that will be affected for the wrong moves being played by the so called “Indians”. Think before you spill out anything in public.

    • James dont bother with Matipa….. he is not being real, this is the internet mind you, his personal issues have side effects, you can tell by most of his responses! Otherwise, there will always be an alternative, the only down part is that whatever the case, our people will be directly involved, Indians are never good investors, i may be wrong about them, but three quarters of where ever they invest, not even One percent of their workers are close to being happy, as for in India, it is a sorry sight….. What then can we expect from them in Zambia?!

  15. A government can not develop a nation alone. Zambians must understand that development is a mindset of society. Too much dependencies on government is a pure classification of poverty. Zambia has a lot of vision-less negative blind people. The more intelligent and creative a society is, the more advanced and richer it’s government. Ask yourself. “What Do I want to do for Zambia?” Instead of being negative. We need brains to rise up and take up their places. Where are the great intelligent inventors of Zambia? Or am I the only positive one? is someone out there crying out as I am? Let’s change the present and rewrite our History. One Zambia One Nation many Brains One Prosperity forward always. My work will change the Country once it’s complete. I’m working on something new for Zambia.

    • Why read baseless articles??? If a farmer is using manual labour on a 20 hectare land he may need 20 workers to cultivate manually. When the same farnmer buys a tractor he will only need 1 Tractor Driver and 2 helpers. What will the rest of the people be doing at the farm when he is not using them.

      KCM has installed new automated Plants that are not labour intensive; so why keep the multitudes that have nothing to do.

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