Vedanta Resources Plc, the owners of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) have dispelled rumours that the company had been reporting false profits and losses to the Zambian Government and externalising its profits.
Speaking at a press briefing after holding a closed door meeting with Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda, Vendanta Resources chairperson Tom Albanese, who is currently in the country for a working visit, acknowledged that despite making profits, there was a challenge of operational costs and that this consumed much of the profit being recorded.
Mr Albanese said in the last nine years, Vedanta had invested US$ 2.3 billion in KCM.
Last week, Foil Vedanta, a London based international solidarity group focusing on the activities of British mining company Vedanta, released a report in which they said that Vedanta made approximately $362 million, or 12.9% of their total group revenue, from KCM in 2013, according to the company itself and analyst reports.
The authors of the report , who visited Zambia in December, noted the number of misconceptions about this company in Zambia – where Vedanta has created the perception that they are an Indian company, and are making such a loss at KCM that they may need to be rescued by the state. In fact KCM are one of the highest profit making subsidiaries of the parent company.
Meanwhile,Government and Vedanta Resources Plc have amicably resolved all differences surrounding the retention of workers at the mining giant.
Last year, KCM threatened to cut down on its workforce citing operational challenges, the action which threatened to sour ties with Government.
The two parties agreed on the need to reduce the number of workers being employed as causal employees as well as engaging them on contractual basis.
Mr Shamenda expressed gratitude that the outstanding matters concerning workers had been resolved and that there would not be a repeat of the challenges as experienced in 2012 and 2013.
Mr Shamenda said that Zambia was the right destination for Vendanta Resources to invest in and that equally the international company was important to Zambia’s growth.
“We have both agreed and recognised that human capital is the most important investment in a business and we have declared that there shall be not industrial unrest at the mining company this year,” Mr Shamenda said.
He said a renewed partnership would be beneficial to both Government and KCM, which was also good for business.
“With new management at Vedanta and PF being new in power, we have agreed to bring on table the new approach to business to have a win, win situation as we burry all our past differences and looking forward to cordial working relations, “he said.