Kudos to UPND Govt for KCM deal
Published On September 6, 2023 » 898 Views» By Times Reporter » Opinion
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TWO weeks ago mining mogul Anil Agarwal, who owns Vedanta Resources Limited issued a major statement that “money will never be a constraint” when he announced a come to running the financially beleaguered Konkola Copper Mines.
Mr Agarwal announced a financial injection of around US$250million owed to suppliers in Zambia as soon as the company resumes control of the copper mine once seized by the previous administration more than four years ago.
And with the determination that President Hakainde Hichilema has shown to turn the economic fortunes of this country, among several other major accomplishments, thus far, Vedanta has come back.
All other issues, court battles, are a thing of the past now as out-of-court deals are already underway.
This is how serious the New Dawn administration is with managing national affairs, particularly the mines, which are a huge asset to making the economy thrive.
Further Mr Agarwal, unveiled plans to reduce Vedanta’s massive debt load, while pledging to invest $1 billion in Konkola and more than double copper production. This comes on the backdrop of Zambia’s output of the metal for this year being forecast to plunge to the lowest in 14 years, according to mining experts.
The mining industry is in dire need of fresh investment to take advantage of surging demand for copper to fuel the transition to clean energy.
Thus the deal could not have come at a better time, than now.
Zambia is currently producing around 830, 000 tonnes per annum, with eyes set to record an output of 3, 000, 000 tonnes in the next decade.
It is a gigantic leap in terms of actual realisation, but it is largely attainable if all factors are addressed.
To achieve this, one key factor is to reignite KCM operations, along with reviving Mopani Copper Mine and joining the wheels of production with First Quantum Minerals.
A recent study by the Policy Monitoring and Research Centre (PMRC) indicates that the actualisation of the 3, 000, 000 tonnes target was timely, considering the projected global copper demand to meet the global net-zero goal and an impending global supply crunch where the country was poised to benefit.
Vedanta Zinc International South Africa executive director and chief financial officer Pushpender Singla also hailed the Government’s 3, 000, 000 output goal and that the company is ready to tap into such an ambitious output level.
The atmosphere is right and Vedanta’s return will stabilise the country’s mining sector, through sustainable job opportunities.
Various stakeholders are relishing this moment and kudos again to the United Party for National Development, which is at the height of commemorating two years in office.
Amidst the excitement that the governing party has scored in the recent months, from a debt deal with creditors and to managing to bring back India’s largest mining company to Zambia, it is evident that things will get better under the first term in office.
As President Hichilema would say, “the journey while in power seems long, but it’s short because, as a leader you need to fulfill the promises you made to the people”. Alas so far, so good.
What a way to put ice to a cake and celebrate two years in office!!!

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