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Thursday, November 24, 2022

Konkola Copper Mines rebuts reports of work stoppage by contractors

Headlines Konkola Copper Mines rebuts reports of work stoppage by contractors

Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Plc has said despite experiencing some cash flow constraints it has prioritized payments to mining contractors and other suppliers.

And KCM has refuted media reports suggesting that workers of Contractor companies engaged by KCM on various mining and other projects have withdrawn labour.

KCM General Manager Corporate Affairs Shapi Shachinda said the mining giant has prioritized payments to contractors and suppliers since May 2022 when the Provisional Liquidator, Ms Celine Nair, took over the office.

Mr. Shachinda has described as false the news item aired on Radio Phoenix indicating that workers of Contractor companies engaged by KCM on various mining and other projects have withdrawn labour.

He said the news report attributed to the Association of Mining Suppliers and Contractors president Mr. Costa Mwaba by Radio Phoenix news is inaccurate and extremely misleading.

Mr. Shachinda said KCM Business partners and other key stakeholders, including workers of Contractors at KCM should remain calm and not panic over the misleading report.

He emphasized that contractual obligations compel the Contractors to inform KCM about any labour situation in their areas of operation and KCM has verified with all its business partners who have confirmed that there is no work stoppage in their operations.

“Konkola Copper Mines rebuts reports of work stoppage by contractors. Konkola Copper Mines Plc (KCM) wishes to rebut a false news item aired on Radio Phoenix that workers of Contractor companies engaged by KCM on various mining and other projects have withdrawn labour.Contractual obligations compel the Contractors to inform KCM about any labour situation in their areas of operation and KCM has verified with all its business partners who have confirmed that there is no work stoppage in their operations,” Mr. Shachinda stated.

“The report attributed to the Association of Mining Suppliers and Contractors president Mr. Costa Mwaba by Radio Phoenix news is inaccurate and extremely misleading. We appeal to KCM Business partners and other key stakeholders, including workers of Contractors at KCM to remain calm and not panic over the misleading report.KCM has experienced some cash flow constraints but payments to mining contractors and other suppliers have been prioritized for payments by KCM since May 2022 when the Provisional Liquidator, Ms Celine Nair, took over the office,” Mr. Shachinda said.

Almost a year ago, 450 workers for contractor companies at KCM protested over delayed salaries as others demanded to be fully employed by the mine.

The workers had downed tools after failing to agree with KCM management and their respective companies on the way forward regarding their plight.

Police in Chingola had used teargas to disperse Konkola Copper Mines workers who blocked roads in the district in protest over alleged bad working conditions at the time.

Police arrested 20 protesting workers who were detained and charged with the offence of conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.

Meanwhile, KCM which has operations in Chingola, Chililabombwe and Nampundwe has not been operating at full capacity owing to the disputed ownership after the previous PF government liquidated the mine.

Indian investor Vedanta Mineral Resources has been battling KCM ownership against the Government through ZCCM IH.

The Government has since directed ZCCM IH to settle the KCM ownership issue with Vedanta Resources outside court.

Mopani Copper Mines and Konkola Copper Mines, currently owned by the Government, are financially struggling due to lack of capital investment in the operations.

Uncertainty surrounding the controversial ownership of Mopani and KCM by the government has not helped the prospect of capital injection in the mining firms that have operations in Kitwe, Mufulira, Chingola and Chililabombwe.

The two firms have been struggling to pay suppliers and contractors who are equally failing to pay their respective workers.

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