Monday, June 17, 2024

Govt desires competent and technically qualified equity partners for KCM and Mopani

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Government says it wants to hand over Mopani and Konkola Copper Mines to competent and technically qualified equity partners who will be able to increase production at the two mines.

 Minister of Finance and National Development Situmbeko Musokotwane says the process to unlock the two mining companies has taken longer than expected because of the complexities surrounding their handover to government.

Speaking in Kitwe on Saturday, during a budget analysis symposium for the 2023 National Budget, Dr. Musokotwane cited legal issues around the KCM case that needs to be sorted out before the mine can be offered to any investor.

Among the hitches surrounding KCM is the USS$1.5 million-dollar debt left by Glencoe and the unfair agreement attached to the handover of the mine that government is dealing with as it is unlocking Mopani Copper mines.

” Please bear with us on the delayed process to unlock the two mines, as you may know there are complex issues involved and they cannot be dealt within a short time but within a month or two we will be closing on Mopani, we don’t want to hand over the asset to a group that will be giving us problems after problems and then you start complaining to us,” Dr. Musokotwane explained.

And government wants to ensure increased copper production in the country from 800 to three million metric tonnes per annum in the next ten years and unlocking Mopani and KCM was one of the issues to be addressed to ensure increased copper production.

Dr. Musokotwane also highlighted that the reduced mineral royalty proposed under the 2023 National Budget will help attract investments in the mining sector which he said sstagnated under the previous regime due to the mineral royalty tax which was way above the international rate.

“The proposed mineral royalty may look low but we are still above our colleagues producing copper such as Australia, Chile and the DRC, it is not a loss as some people think, it will instead help incentivise the industry and encourage investors to invest in our country,” Dr. Musokotwane said.

Government also plans to increase job opportunities through value addition in the agriculture sector through the farming blocks dotted across the country.

Dr. Musokotwane challenged the business Community to help government create jobs through opening up of new mines and businesses as well as going into value addition.

He said government will provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.

And Bank of Zambia Governor Dr. Denny Kalyalya said the bank is elated with the targets that it has been assigned achieve under the the 2023 national budget.

He said the set economic targets will help the economy to grow and run smoothly.

He cited targets such as bringing inflation within a range of 6 to 8 per cent, maintaining internal reserves of about three months import cover and maintenance of a flexible exchange rate among others.

And Association of Mine Suppliers and Contractors president Coster Mwansa appealed to government to recapitalize Mopani and KCM to revitalize their operations as government is working on the process to unlock the two mines.

Mr. Mwansa said the supplier and other businesses relying on the mines to survive are suffering because the two mines are failing to pay suppliers and contractors.

Earlier, Kitwe chamber of commerce and Trade president Emmanuel Mbambiko called on government to quickly resolve the issues surrounding Mopani and KCM.

Mr. Mbambiko also called on the Zambia Revenue Authority to address its online tax system which he says is still problematic and disadvantages the small and Medium entrepreneurs.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Unfortunately this trick can’t work for you again. These assets are locked because of the idyocy of politicians. This lie was told at the time of privatization. Looking for those with technical capability is nonsensical. Just take stock of sold companies, all of them aren’t in the hands of those that originally bought them. It’s they’ve been stripped and machinery shipped out or sold several times. Vedanta has been in breach of the development agreement several times. Instead of getting compensation you’re shivering even before you face Agarwal. If you don’t fight for Zambia and pay Vedanta what it’s demanded then you’re being paid commission, we’ll lock you up. Vedanta doesn’t deserve anything, let them come and settle all their liabilities to Zambians but they shouldn’t get…

  2. kkkkkkk soon when is soon going to be sooner than later.Kindly update the nation on this issue.The minister said he will give a statement on KCM unfortunely he went mute, just to hear him saying no one is going to force govt to make a statement on KCM.Any way let us give the govt time like the minister is saying since it is a complex matter.

  3. Are you sure its $1.5 million not $1.5 billion? I mean one TAZARA wagon of copper cathodes going to DAR is worth $1,5 million

  4. I wonder why we have not put them on care and maintenance altogether.
    The two mines are strugglung: one wonders how they are still afloat.
    Where does the money go from copper sales since the ‘corrupt PF’ left power 1½ years ago? How much profit/loss has Zambia made ever since rhe took charge? UPND only talks about other peoples’ mistakes without shouldering part of the blame. Some people are infallible indeed.
    As for Coster Mwansa and Emmanuel Mbambiko’s calls for mines revival, they are falling on UPND deaf ears as usual.

  5. Budget will help attract investments in the mining sector which he said sstagnated under the previous regime due to the mineral royalty tax which was way above the international rate. the above is what the minister of finance said and i quote, this is act by upnd is unacceptable the mines belong to the people of Zambia, Let the people decide what they want, After all you are busy increase things like fuel, pay as you earn, cutting down allowances and yet you want mining companies to have a tax holiday! When are we going to benefit from our minerals! In fact Pf used to collect 20% of what the mines were making. Useless government heartless government.

  6. MMD sold ZR to a South African firm. PF repossessed the vandalised RSZ for Zambian strategic transport.
    The other day our republican president said he wants to revamp rail transport, making no mention about the two mining firms, ZR and TAZARA. In Tanzania that is a public company just like ZR is in Zambia. But we want to support state owned Tazara while our ZR is on sale via disbanding of IDC. Paradox.

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