ZCCM-IH won’t kill KCM

Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:16:25 +0000


By Buumba Chimbulu

‘‘ZCCM-IH is not here to kill the Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) by taking them to court as the action was undertaken because we are answerable to our shareholders,’’ says company chief executive officer, Pius Kasolo.

Dr Kasolo told the media that the action by his company to demand US$100 million from KCM should not be taken as a deliberate attack on its partners or indeed a quest to injure the mining giant.

“We are not here to kill KCM; we are just exercising our rights, and our shareholders want these things to be done. And by following our shareholders, we went to court and this has been granted,

“But we cannot kill KCM because we are milking this. If you kill a cow then there is no milk for you, so the best thing to do is to agree if they can afford what they have,” he said.

Dr Kasolo said ZCCM-IH was not in any way closing down KCM, adding that the two would come up with a repayment system which would not affect the financial standing and operation of the mining company.

He explained that ZCCM-IH remained committed in ensuring that KCM operations continued in Zambia and that the business relationship between the two would continue.

And KCM chief executive officer Steven Din said his company remained fully committed in fulfilling its financial obligations.

Mr Din said the US$100 million ZCCM-IH was demanding would be resolved amicably and assured the country that there was no risk to the KCM business.

He said it was normal for business partners to have such differences which called for a third party to resolve the matter.

“These things happen. Business partners have quarrels because it is normal, one way we will stop it from happening in the future is to ensure that there is much better communication for the shareholders to exactly know what is happening in the business. We will continue to work together and we have learnt a lot,” he said.

Mr Din said that managements of both companies had inherited the problem, but were committed to ensure that it was resolved.

He said as part of the recovery plan from this matter, KCM would triple the whole operation from the current US$2 million a year.

“We will also maximise the utilisation of the smelter; so we want a brand new smelter in Nchanga which in 2021will have the production capacity of 310,000 tonnes of copper every year,” he said.

Yesterday, KCM issued a statement that it was ready to pay about US$100 million to the ZCCM-IH for a copper price participation settlement agreement as ordered by the London court.

KCM public relations and communications manager Shapi Shachinda said KCM was in consultation with ZCCM-IH and other relevant stakeholders to resolve all outstanding issues within 30 days in ac-cordance with the court’s ruling.

“Konkola Copper Mines would like to inform stakeholders that the company and its shareholder, State-owned ZCCM-IH, have been engaged in discussions with regard to the price participation set-tlement agreement entered into in December 2012,” he said.

In June this year, ZCCM-IH filed the claim with the English High Court to recover over US$100 mil-lion it said was owed to it by KCM in terms of the 2013 agreement.

The court on Friday, 16 December, 2016, made a ruling allowing ZCCM-IH’s application for judg-ment and also ruled that KCM should pay the liability in the region of US$100 million.

“We now advise that ZCCM-IH has been successful in its application for default judgment. KCM has been ordered (on 16 December, 2016) to pay all sums owed to ZCCM-IH,’’ he said.


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