Minister of Mines Christopher Yaluma has assured the country that Konkola Copper Mines -KCM- is not leaving Zambia.
Mr. Yaluma has further announced plans by the Vedanta run firm to re-open three of its closed shafts in Chingola that are poised to create hundreds of jobs.
The Minister has also disclosed that KCM has started liquidating its internal and external debt that currently standards at over One billion United States dollars.
The Minister of Mines said this in an interview with ZNBC’s Misheck Moyo in Cape Town at the ongoing 2017 investing in Africa Mining Indaba.
He noted that plans by KCM to commission the Konkola Deep Project with a life span of 50 years have advanced.
Mr. Yaluma said the KDP project that has had challenges in its development process will be completed in the next three years.
He said Government has since requested KCM management to submit a comprehensive mining plan to Government.
And Mr. Yaluma explained that KCM management has informed Government on plans to revive operations at Nchanga underground and open pit mines in Chingola besides Konkola in Chililabombwe.
The Minister of Mines is tomorrow scheduled to meet KCM owner and Chairman Anil Agarwal at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yaluma said more jobs are expected to be created in the extractive sector this year.
The Mines Minister said several mining firms that cut jobs in 2016 owing to turbulences in the extractive sector have started recalling former workers.
He said Government is aware that Mopani Copper Mines has in the last few weeks recalled over three hundred of its former employees.
Mr. Yaluma said metal prices have started rebounding adding that the stability in metal prices will see more investments in the extractive sector.
And Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet Christopher Mvunga has told ZNBC in Cape Town that Government has made steady progress in paying the Value Added Tax -VAT- refunds owed to the mines.
Various mining firms were previously owed over five hundred million United States dollars by Government.
Earlier, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba said the Zambian mission has continued receiving numerous inquiries from reputable international mining firms expressing interest to invest in Zambia.
Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo is also expected in Cape Town today to attend the mining symposium that has drawn mining experts, financiers and Government officials from across Africa