THE prospects of Zambia’s mining industry remain promising in the long term, says Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) commercial and marketing general manager Somnath Ghosh.
Mr Ghosh said despite current challenges affecting the copper mining industry, prospects for the sector remained promising in the long term.
He was speaking in Brussels on Thursday when KCM, Zambia’s largest integrated copper producer, addressed the 28th International Copper Conference.
Mr Ghosh noted that weaker copper prices, higher operational costs and regulatory and tax issues represented significant challenges for the industry.
He said accordingly, mining companies, including KCM, were streamlining their businesses to adapt to these changes.
Mr Ghosh said KCM’s responsibility was to contribute to broad-based empowerment of the Zambian people, and by extension, national development.
He said since 2004, the company invested close to $3 billion in the upgrading and expanding of company assets, including the Konkola Deep Mining Project, which was the deepest mine shaft in Zambia, that he said would increase the life of the mine beyond 30 years.
Mr Ghosh told the gathering that the resolve of Zambia’s newly elected Government to find solutions to the challenges the industry faced was of paramount for creating an enabling operating environment that would increase investor confidence.
He emphasized KCM’s commitment to inclusive growth and enterprise development, even in the face of serious operational challenges in the mines.
He said the mining company was seeking to grow the industry, saying Zambia had abundant mineral potential and that if provided the right technical and economic solutions, there’s no reason why the industry could not continue to grow in the future.
Mr Ghosh said arriving at the right solution required broad stakeholder agreement, a predictable operating environment and a commitment to consistency through strong and stable governance, adding that KCM would continue to be active in those efforts.