KCM jobs safe, says CEO


KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has no intention of closing down the mine even if it is losing US$2 million per month due to low production, says KCM chief executive officer Steven Din.

He said the mining firm had no intentions of closing down because its focus was to preserve jobs.

Speaking at a breakfast media briefing in Lusaka, Mr Din said KCM was in talks with stakeholders and unions to ensure that KCM jobs were preserved.

“KCM has a workforce of 16, 000 and it has no intention of closing down. KCM is in talks with stakeholders and unions to ensure that we preserve KCM jobs; we are in hard times caused by economic challenges,” he said.

Mr Din said the mine would adjust its operations by increasing production and ensure that the mine operations were sustained.

“KCM will adjust its operations so that its overall cost of production will be at a level which can be sustained, even if the copper prices are at $4, 000 for the next two years,” he said.

Mr Din said KCM was losing US$2 million per month due to low copper production.

He said the low production was because of the costly power the mine was generating.

“It has reduced our profitability to the extent of losing about US$2 million a month,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Din said KCM had received an average of US$10 million of Value added Tax (VAT) from the Government.

He however said the mine had only received for six months from March to August 2015.

“Our refunds on average are around US$10 million a month. My understanding is that we have now received our refunds for the period between March and August 2015,” he said.

And Development Consultant Isaac Ngoma said there was need for the country to tighten fiscal control in order to support the mines in these difficult times.

Mr Ngoma said policy consistency and coherence and tax reforms were key for predictable and stable businesses including the mines.

He also said the current power deficit was a sign of failure to diversify the economy.

“Mines are hard pressed and Government should support them to navigate the turbulent times,” Mr Ngoma said.

He said the current economic challenges were inevitable unless global demand and commodity prices improved and local policies were consistent.

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