By CHARLES MUSONDA
VEDANTA Resources Limited says it is ready to invest US$1.5 billion in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and is keen to engage ZCCM-Investment Holdings to restore the mine.
Vedanta Group chief executive officer Sunil Duggal said in a statement yesterday the investment of US$1.5 billion in the operations at KCM will include US$200 million to pay local suppliers of the mine.
Mr. Duggal said the investment will also include US$400 million to bring in best in class environmental, social and governance practices to improve health, safety and working conditions for employees as well as the allocation of US$100 million for community projects.
He said the investment will go into continuing to operate the integrated asset, leading to a significant improvement in business and stability in jobs for employees which will positively impact the lives of many Zambians.
He said this will help in rejuvenating the country’s economy and will place Zambia firmly on the map as one of the world’s leading suppliers of copper, a critical mineral for the future global green economy.
Mr. Duggal said the investment will be primarily used to restore KCM by upgrading and improving its current infrastructure and design to create a more efficiently run integrated mine that will operate to its full potential.
Vedanta, the world’s sixth largest globally diversified natural resources company, has operated for over a decade in Zambia and created a world class integrated mining and metals company underpinned by strong sustainable development practices.
Mr. Duggal said Vedanta remains committed to KCM, its operations and employees, local communities, and the Zambian government just as it has been over the past 15 years.
“KCM remains a very important asset to Vedanta and Zambia and the company is committed to ensuring the success of its operations for the benefit of its employees and surrounding communities, as well as contributing to delivering better lives for all Zambians.
“As Zambia embarks on an exciting new chapter in its history under the leadership of His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia, Vedanta is keen to open dialogue with ZCCM as we today reiterate our commitment to invest $1.5 billion into the operations, communities and local economies around KCM,” Mr. Duggal said.
He said Vedanta is committed to making KCM and Zambia world leaders in copper production once again and looks forward to working with the Copperbelt community in collaboration with the new government in any way necessary to ensure a stable and beneficial future is achieved for all stakeholders at KCM.