Zambia
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Chamber of Mines welcomes progress on KCM, Mopani copper mines

The Zambia Chamber of Mines has welcomed recent developments regarding investment roadmaps for Konkola Copper Mines and Mopani Copper Mines announced by Government.

Chamber of Mines Chief Executive Officer Sokwani Chilembo said any breakthrough regarding the protracted process is a positive development.

Speaking in a telephone interview, Mr Chilembo said he is hopeful that issues of securing investors for the two mines will move quickly.

He said the business distress on the Copperbelt as a result of the impasse concerning the matter will be solved once the issues are  concluded.

“This is the resolving of the business distress on the Copperbelt. We hope it happens quickly. At least there seems to be some progress,” said Mr Chilembo..

Last week, Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane announced that Government will soon decide an investor to take over from Mopani Copper Mines, with China’s Zijin Mining Group, Norinco Group, Sibanye Stillwater Limited and an investment vehicle owned by ex-Glenore Plc officials as prospective investors.

Meanwhile according to Reuters News Agency monitored by ZANIS, Zambia is close to resolving a dispute with Vedanta Resources over its Konkola Copper Mines, with a deal over the future of the partly state-owned unit “imminent”,

The report quotes Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe saying: “The negotiations are advanced and an announcement is imminent,”

 Zambia’s Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe told Reuters. “We need to tie the loose ends first so that we don’t have a recurrence of what happened in the past.”

 Kabuswe, who has been negotiating alongside finance Minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, said the talks would also resolve KCM’s outstanding payments to suppliers and contractors, and technical aspects of the operations.

He, however, declined to give further details.

KCM has battled to attract investment since relations between Zambia and Vedanta broke down several years ago, culminating in the state’s take-over of the KCM assets and forced liquidation in May 2019.

The move triggered protracted legal battles, with Vedanta approaching an arbitration court in London to fight off the seizure of the copper assets.

Reuters further reports that a deal could help unlock funding to advance the Konkola Deep Mining Project, which holds one of the world’s richest copper deposits, but requires investment of as much as US$1.1 billion.