Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo listens to a KCM Engineer during the tour of the Smelter Plant
Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo listens to a KCM Engineer during the tour of the Smelter Plant
The Mine workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says Konkola Copper mines-KCM is operating under financial stress and called for urgent government intervention.

MUZ President Joseph Chewe has since urged government to immediately correct the situation at KCM.

Mr. Chewe has also advised the mining firm to get back to its initial core business of mining ore and not processing concentrates to boost its production levels and finances.

He says if the situation at KCM is left unchecked Chingola and Chililabombwe districts on the Copperbelt are headed for an economic hardship.

Mr Chewe was speaking on the Thursday edition of TV’2 Morning Live News and Current affairs Program from Kitwe.

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27 COMMENTS

  1. KCM senior staff were only getting paid this week their September and October salaries. When a company starts failing to pay wages then you know things are bad. And instead of coming to intervene, those rascals in state house are busy talking about extending the term of office for the president.

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    • The late president Levy Mwanawasa sold the mines dubiously to the corrupt Agarwal the owner of Vedanta plc.

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  2. KCM should have been liquidated and that thieving, corrupt and income grabbing Indian management sent packing a long time ago. But thx to Mwanawasa and Magande the Zambian esp Chingola people are stuck with them.

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  3. “Mr. Chewe has also advised the mining firm to get back to its initial core business of mining ore AND NOT processing concentrates”?

    Am I missing something? Or do I have a strange computer virus or is everybody reading what I am reading?

    This MUZ man Mr Chewe is in effect asking Govt and KCM to close-down Concentrator and lay off workers? Should he not advocate and encourage the Govt to create and enabling environment to not only process copper concentrates in Zambia, but also make end-products out of copper and thereby create more jobs, i.e. value addition?
    Sim cards, domestic and industrial switches of all shapes and sizes, ICs (integrated circuits), more cables of a sorts of sizes, etc.. etc..

    And copper is trading at about USD4800/tonne at LME on average.

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    • True! In SA they make these Explora’s we buy at hefty prices. we can also start making some finished products out of the raw materials we so gladly export at give away prices.

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    • @BRABUS.
      I think you don’t know what Mr. Chewe is talking about. I will simplify it for you. KCM has started buying concentrates from other mining companies and processing them at KCM smelter instead of producing their own concentrates. That means KCM concentrators are not producing anything and therefore the KCM mining department which is supposed to produce the copper ore to feed KCM concentrators is also producing nothing. It means KCM underground and open pit employees are doing nothing. Same applies to KCM Concentrator employees. A business cannot survive like that. Practically speaking, I think KCM is still producing a bit of Copper ore and concentrate but it’s probably too little for it to survive.

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    • In fact they get most of their feed from DRC. And if I am not mistaken some concentrates come from as Malaysia.

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    • @The one,
      Firstly, thanks for adding missing information to the story, which information ba LT should have included in the first place. (not simplifying it for me as you erroneously say).
      I also note that in your last sentence you think “KCM is still producing a bit of Copper ore and concentrate but it’s probably too little for it to survive”. Therefore, if you were in KCM’s shoes, would you not do what they are doing i.e. buy concentrates from other mining companies, even from next door Congo DR, and smelt/refine it to 99.94% Cu and then sell it at a premium price, and make money?. That’s value addition.

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  4. I wonder how the Govt can intervene Ba Chewe…naimwee. These thieves did not make an upfront payment for the acquisition of the mine but instead just started operating and within three months of operations, they made a profit of $75m out of which $25m was paid to Govt. This is not the time to be sympathetic with these fools at the expense of poor Zambians. These Indians have made money and it is just a question of recapitalizing the same mine using the money they have siphoned period.

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  5. Useless MUZ when its boom time…you are in the forefront discouraging any talk of tax adjustments upwards; always happy for your wealthy members to rob us!!

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  6. Guys,
    It is the duty of the government to subsidise KCM, without which, many jobs will be lost.
    KCM has been a friendly, favourable and faithful investor.
    Many Zambians hold senior positions, unlike other mines.

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    • This is bull, Vedanta are thieves! Senior positions my foot! No decisions are made by these so called senior, impotent bast**ds!

      Sounds like an Indian is writing here! I worked there for a long time and was one of so called Senior….malabishi***

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  7. So long kcm is being run by Indians nothing tangible would come out of the mines, since day one they are always complaining about losses, cost etc… Tell anil argarwal to pump back them $1billion he been making anually since 2004…

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    • Exactly, that Anil Argarwal founder and executive chairman of Vedanta Resources, is happy to brag about playing us Zambians for fo8ls to his fellow country men in India though kept a low profile we all know he is very much in charge.

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  8. So we have private profits and but public losses. This is a bad deal the Zambians must reject. We get much less in taxes from the mines than they should be paying and now that things are down they want taxpayers to bail them out. No way! Isn’t this the firm that the Indians bought for a song and paid using the revenue for the same mine?

    We would become more of a laughing stock if we agree to this MUZ proposal. Only a government that stands on backward thinking would allow this!

    Oops. We actually have a Dununa Reverse regime.

    So guys. We are in trouble!

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  9. When seeking investors, we should fly over some countries. Should have flown over India and landed in Japan.

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  10. MUZ and Lungu’s minister should allow KCM to layoff workers like what MOPANE did otherwise, the mine will liquidate like the post and people will go with nothing. please zambians who are good at talking with little actions, allow KCM to layoff its workers and give them money.

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  11. An American report says Verdanta bought KCM at $25,000 which they paid in instalments but made $75,000 profit within three months from which they paid the purchase money.

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    • Add 3 more zeroes and your rumour starts making sense. You cannot get a new large SUV for the money you are talking about.

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  12. This company has been raped, robbed in day light while our leaders and the citizenry watch helplessly.

    It was never bought with money in the first place, if you have capacity to know what I mean here? Sold on credit for 25,000,000 US$, then made profit of 75,000,000 in 3 months? What do you call that?

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  13. When will Zambia ever wake-up? Mining has usually been the highest cost driver in processing of copper so these guys may be trying to cut costs by throwing their employees under the bus. Also, make sure that if they are processing foreign concentrates that they do not contain harmful impurities. Zambia’s appetite for dubious investors is appallingly insatiable so is the lack of patriotism among Zambians who do not think about the future we are shaping for future generations. We know that the copper price has been low for some time but the problem goes beyond copper prices. Anyone who understands the culture in the Zambian mining industry “enriching oneself regardless of what happens tomorrow”.

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  14. When will Zambia ever wake-up? Mining has usually been the highest cost driver in processing of copper so these guys may be trying to cut costs by throwing their employees under the bus. Also, make sure that if they are processing foreign concentrates that they do not contain harmful impurities. Zambia’s appetite for dubious investors is appallingly insatiable so is the lack of patriotism among Zambians who do not think about the future we are shaping for future generations. We know that the copper price has been low for some time but the problem goes beyond copper prices. Anyone who understands the culture in the Zambian mining industry “enriching oneself regardless of what happens tomorrow” knows that this is a major issue we must overcome if we are to live up to our potential.

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  15. We should actually encourage KCM to attract secondary industries down stream to setup factories right next door to it. Then those underground miners will see an alternative means of subsistence for themselves by re-training to work in the changing environment. Even Copper-based cottage industries will thrive. We should make Congo DR find it attractive to sell their copper to us, as this will keep us going even when our copper runs out. Lets think outside the box for once.

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