Green Party President Peter Sinkamba has said that Zambia risks failing to meet its set production targets in the mining industry if the challenges facing the sector are not immediately addressed.
Mr. Sinkamba said that the government resolving issues with Vedanta Resources around Konkola Copper Mines and getting an equity partner for Mopani Copper Mines is cardinal to Zambia meeting its target to produce 3 million metric tonnes of Copper annually in the future.
Mr. Sinkamba regretted that many other mining firms are either not in production or producing very low quantities of Copper due to various challenges which require government attention.
Mr Sinkamba has since called on Government to quickly resolve the issues surrounding operations at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) outside the arbitration process in order to boost production at the mine.
Mr. Sinkamba said that it is important that Vedanta Resources is given back the asset so that it can inject over US$1.5 billion into KCM’s operations, noting that production at the mine has reduced significantly hence the need to resolve this issue as soon as possible.
“As Green Party, we think it is very important for the government to move in very quickly to resolve the KCM issues as well as the Mopani Copper Mines issues. We have noted that copper production has reduced significantly. We were supposed to have hit somewhere around 1 million tonnes per annum starting from this year. But instead, we’ve been reaching the 800,000 metric tonnes that we achieved in 2020. We have gone down almost 700,000 metric tonnes so we really have to work extra hard to get these issues resolved,” he said.
“Number one focus KCM view has been that there is a need for government to sit down with Vedanta as soon as possible, resolve the issues outside court, outside the arbitration process, and then we will move on as a nation and allow them to inject the $1.5 billion in the production.”
He since urged the government to quickly resolve the KCM and Mopani issues as soon as possible so as to bring a little bit of liquidity in the economy, especially on the Copperbelt and offer some profits