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Vedanta Hails E-Government for Favorable Investment Climate in Zambia
Source: steelguru.com
Source Date: Saturday, November 20, 2010
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs
Country: Zambia
Created: Nov 22, 2010

Vedanta Resources Plc, owners of Konkola Copper Mine unit in Zambia has hailed the government for the favorable investment climate in the Southern African nation that has attracted reputable ventures including world renowned mining companies.

Mr Kishore Kumar CEO of KCM said that the favorable investment climate created by Government is attracting many foreign investors and that as a result of the policies and investment climate many investors including KCM were considering Zambia as their second home.

Mr Kumar said that the listing of KCM on the London Stock Exchange was as a result of the efforts from various stakeholders as well as the investment climate in the country. What needed to be realized was that the listing on the London Stock Exchange was coming seven months after the completion of phase 1 of the Konkola Deep Mining Project in Chililabombwe.

He said that the phase 2 of the project was anticipated to be completed by 2012 and once completed; the output for ore would rise to 7.5 million tonnes per annum from the current 2 million tonnes. Other projects that were being undertaken by KCM include the Chingola Refractory Ore project another concentrator and the development of the Upper OreBody to be situated in Chingola.

Mr Kumar said that the mentioned projects and others were costing KCM nearly USD 2 billion because the objective was to add value to primary products of copper and cobalt. So far, these projects have extended the lifespan of the mine significantly they have made KCM the largest private sector employer in Zambia with over 400 fresh graduates taken on in the last 3 years.

He said that the listing of KCM on the market was an indication that Zambia was back on track as Africa’s largest producer of copper. The development would provide an opportunity for ordinary citizens and KCM employees to buy shares and play a role in the way the mine was run. He added that with the investment that has gone into KCM in the last 5 years, we believe that the listing on the London Stock Exchange will unlock the company’s true market and economic value which is hidden.

Mr Jacob Mwanza senior director of the board said that the listing on the stock exchange would contribute to the growth of the country’s economy as well as enable Zambians own shares in KCM. Zambia would not only be known for mining activities but the country would be known internationally thereby attracting investments in others sectors.

Mr Alfred Lungu board chairperson Zambia Consolidated Copper Mining Investment Holdings IH said that KCM was a major mining investor in the country and the listing would enable Zambia reach some of the set targets in mining. The listing was a welcome development that would result to Zambia being known to the rest of the world.

Mr Patrick Chisanga KCM advisory council representative said that the listing was a joyous moment to the Government, KCM and Vedanta Resources. The move by KCM to consider listing on the London Stock Exchange and generate USD 1.1 billion to boost operations and meet debtor obligations before considering listing on the Lusaka capital market has cheered the workers unions who believe the decision would culminate in workers benefiting in the long run.

Mr Rayford Mbulu president of mine workers Union of Zambia said the listing of the shares on the London bourse by KCM was welcome as it will help empower many Zambians. The decision by KCM will provide an opportunity to every Zambian to be part owners of the mining company.

Mr Mbulu hoped the miners will be given a lifetime opportunity to buy shares in the company. It was important for mining company to come up with schemes aimed at empowering Zambians. We would like to commend Konkola Copper Mines for listing its shares on the London Stock Exchange. We are pleased because the move will go a long way in empowering Zambians and our members. They will have a chance of buying shares in the company. It is important that mining companies continue coming up with initiatives aimed at motivating their members.

He said that the move will allow members of the public to have a say in the daily operations of the mine and urged Zambians to rally behind KCM in its quest to implement policies meant to enhance development in communities. KCM will now be obliged to publicize its operations and the company has opened up for scrutiny and creates a sense of ownership among its workers.

Mr Mundia Sikufele president of National Union of Miners and Allied Workers welcomed the decision by KCM noting that the move will give Zambians an opportunity to have a say in the running of the company. He however, said his union is still studying the situation but hopes the intention of KCM to list its shares is meant to empower Zambians in different ways.

Mr Muna Hantuba board chairman of Securities and Exchange Commission said that the listing is an exciting opportunity for the Zambian capital market. This is a very good opportunity and having dual listing with the LuSE is first class for the Zambian capital market. He said that government, through ZCCM-IH has a fair representation which will in turn give money back which can be re directed to other investment opportunities and expenditure lines in social sectors for the benefit of the country. The listing of Konkola Resources Plc is expected to attract a lot of institutional investors, individuals and corporations.

Ms Beatrice Nkanza GM of Lusaka Stock Exchange said that the listing of Konkola Resources on both London Stock Exchange and LuSE will boost the local stock market and create more visibility as more investors look at the local market differently.

Ms Nkanza said that the listing will definitely be a boost because KCM is a global company, and for them to list at LuSE, they are a company worth something. There is need to sensitise local investors on the benefits of them buying shares in Konkola Copper Mine as they extend their shares to Zambians on the local market.

He said that it is encouraging to see a number of Zambian companies listing on the international stock market. ZCCM-IH chairman Alfred Lungu said the intended public offering of KR is a welcome move to ZCCM-IH plc. KCM is one of the major investments on the portfolio of ZCCM-IH and therefore, the listing of its holding company will enhance ZCCM-IH’s value.

He added that we anticipate that the listing will greatly impact on KCM and accelerate development programs to enable the company achieve its immediate targets of increasing production and reduce unit costs.

(Filed by Mr Kapembwa Sinkamba SteelGuru Correspondent Zambia)
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