Government hails KCM support to railway link facelift
July 22, 2014
Deputy Transport, Works, Supply and Communications minister Colonel Panji Kaunda has hailed Konkola Copper Mines support towards the revamping of Zambia Railways.
Col. Kaunda said during a visit to KCM to inspect the inter-mine rail track that he was upbeat all the mines would begin to transport their copper and other bulk imports using Zambia Railways, which is progressively revamping railway track and upgrading other infrastructure to improve its operations.
Col. Kaunda said the operations on the inter-mine railway link, running from KCM’s Konkola mine in Chililabombwe to the main railway network through Kitwe would resume in August.
“We are excited about the inter-mine, which had been lost for some time, but we have to bring it back because we need that for the railways to be viable …without KCM support in terms of cargo, which comes from the mines, it becomes very unviable,” Col Kaunda said.
The rehabilitated rail track is expected to start carrying copper concentrate from Chililabombwe to the Nchanga smelter in Chingola and then copper anodes from Nchanga smelter to Nkana refinery, where Zambia Railways currently picks up KCM copper cathodes for onward shipment to overseas markets.
Col Kaunda said Zambia Railways was poised to become the main carrier of all bulk commodities, including copper to the ports and raw materials to the mines, once its upgrades were completed.
KCM Chief Executive Officer Steven Din said KCM fully supports the inter-mine rail project as it was critical to national development.
“This is obviously a very important joint collaboration we have with ZRL to be able to improve the logistics chain between our two mines and also to reduce some of the congestion caused by the trucks on the roads,” Mr Din said.
“But more importantly, I hope as part of this work we can actually create some jobs which are needed,” he added. “I support this project fully. KCM supports it fully because it just makes a lot of sense.”