Minister backs KCM higher productivity plan
August 7, 2014
Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wylbur Simuusa commissioned new equipment for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operations in Chingola and pledged full support to the company.
Mr Simuusa, who is the member of parliament for Nchanga in the town, commended KCM and the majority shareholder Vedanta Resources Plc, for procuring new equipment for the Chingola Open Pits (COP) F&D and Cut II operations. KCM restarted mining at COP F&D in July following suspension of operations in December 2012.
The equipment, which included dozers, excavators, some light vehicles and a man bus cost $16 million. Additionally, KCM refurbished six huge haulage trucks for carrying copper ore at the mine.
KCM Chief Executive Officer Steven Din said during the commissioning that the company had separately spent $4.6 million on remote bloggers, utility vehicles, underground refuse chamber works and work on an emulsion charging unit at Konkola underground mine in Chililabombwe, 25 kilometres further north of Chingola.
“KCM is critical to the growth of the mining sector and the Zambian economy. Therefore, it is important that KCM performs well. As Member of Parliament for Nchanga, I will render all the necessary support to KCM,” Mr Simuusa said.
Mr Simuusa said the purchase of new equipment showed Vedanta’s long-term vision for Zambia’s mining sector, and that this would help the government to fulfill its mission to uplift people’s living standards through economic growth.
Mr Din said the company was focused on enhancing its operations.
Mr Simuusa also toured a cattle restocking project financed by KCM in the Kafue Gulf on the outskirts of Chingola. He said the government would replicate the KCM model of cattle restocking for its own national programme.
“We want to diversify from mining to agriculture, and what KCM is doing here is in line with what we want. It is in line with our policy because we have also started the stocking and restocking of cattle and have created breeding centres in different parts of the country,” Mr Simuusa said.
KCM has given small scale farmers 440 dairy and draft cattle and over 1,000 goats in the last two years in three towns in a bid to alleviate poverty.