Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) and ZANACO Bank have agreed to deepen their business partnership with possibilities of the bank increasing its short to medium term lending to the Company while KCM would explore ways of increasing its quantity in terms of business with the bank.
A delegation comprising six senior ZANACO officials led by Head Corporate and Investment Banking Andrew Muyaba met with Jason Kazilimani, the agent for the KCM Provisional Liquidator, Celine Nair to explore further business opportunities that would enable KCM to fund some growth projects intended to increase production in the short to medium term. The Acting CEO of KCM Enock Mponda and four senior KCM officials also attended the discussions in Chingola.
The two parties agreed to sustain the current position of ZANACO as the biggest lender to KCM for letters of credit, which enable KCM to procure additional copper concentrates from local and foreign third parties for blending with KCM’s own copper concentrates in order to meet specifications for production of copper anodes at the Nchanga smelter.
The KCM officials told the bankers that the Company was strategically positioned to participate in the booming global industry of electric vehicles by enhancing copper and cobalt production, which are some of the metals used for wiring of electric vehicles and production of car batteries, respectively.
The Company seeks $17 million in financing to carry out an annual shutdown of the Nchanga smelter, which requires major upgrades to infrastructure in order to improve its efficiency, as well as other funds for the re-opened Chingola Open Pit (COP F&D), earmarked to commence ore production at the end of July. Other production areas at Konkola deep mine and Nchanga Open pits also need bridge financing to raise production.
“We need additional letters of credit for procurement of concentrates and we take note of the need for KCM to increase business transactions with ZANACO,” Mr Kazilimani said.
“We found ourselves as major lender to KCM and hope to grow our business portfolio with yourselves. We see this business relationship getting bigger and better, especially that we are now a one billion kwacha bank,” Mr Muyaba said in reference to ZANACO becoming the first bank to hit one billion kwacha in profit after tax in the 2021 financial year.