By SIMON MUNTEMBA
VEDANTA Resources PLC was the worst investor the country has ever had, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Paul Kabuswe has said.
And Mr Kabuswe said Government would announce its position over the future of Konkola Copper Mine (KCM).
Reacting to assertions that that Vedanta Resources PLC will come back because UPND went to bed with them prior to forming the government, Mr Kabuswe said the State had no plans of bringing back Vedanta because it was the worst investor that the country had ever.
“Vedanta was the worst investment that Zambia has ever had,” he said.
He said government was doing everything possible to ensure that KCM succeeded.
The also said soon, government would announce its position over the future of KCM.
“Whatever we are doing behind the scene as government is to make sure that KCM succeeds. We will shortly be making a direction on how KCM will proceed. But whatever we are doing is for the best interest of Zambians,” Mr Kabuswe said.
Mr Kabuswe however said that putting the mine under care and maintenance was not the solution to ramp up production at KCM.
Mr Kabuswe said Government was looking at how best it could fully revamp operations at KCM because it had the capacity to produce over three million tonnes of copper in the next 10 years.
He also said that the issue of flooding underground at Chililabombwe was one of a key priorities that Government was trying to find a lasting solution.
Mr Kabuswe was responding to KCM general manager for technical services Davy Mubita who told him that $270 million was needed for the procurement of a pump chamber meant to pump out water at three shafts which were flooded at the mine.
Mr Mubita said currently, the mining firm was spending close to $4.2 million monthly to pump out 375 cubic litres of water underground.
He said if only the mine could ramp up production to full capacity, the mining firm can be able to find the money but it is struggling because the mine is still under care and maintenance.
Mr Mubita also said the firm could not mine further than 1, 390 meters underground because it was still wet.
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