business‎ > ‎

KCM to contribute more than 1 million tonnes of finished copper

posted 25 May 2011, 13:56 by Mpelembe   [ updated 25 May 2011, 14:02 ] - Konkola Copper Mine, a unit of London listed Vedanta Resources Plc with operations in Zambia, forecasts to contribute more than 1 million tonnes of finished copper as the company intensifies plans to develop operations in the country.

Vedanta Resources with 79.4% share in the mines, locally run by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings, with investments in excess of USD 1.89 billion since 2004 said the company was set to increase copper output to 1 million from a low 350,000 tonnes presently.

Mr Navin Agarwal chairman of Vedanta Resources is poised to grow the company and ensure it develops to levels where it can increase finished copper output to 1 million annually as the company intensifies project growth programs in Zambia.

Mr Agarwal is however mindful that team work, good planning and raising efficiency levels by management and employees are critical to the company's goal of becoming a major global copper producer, which would in turn help raise Zambia's total copper production, he said in Konkola News, an in-house company journal. He is optimistic that the target to produce 1 million tonnes would be achieved in due course as set by the Zambian government.

The government has set a target of 1 million tones production from 2011 onwards premised on expansion projects at KCM and other mining houses that include Mopani Copper Mines and China Non Ferrous Metals Africa Corporation.

Mr Agarwa urged KCM to use every means at its disposal to raise copper production and contribute to Zambia economic growth and the raising people's living standards. We need, all of us, to embrace efficiency. God gave us the copper resource underground and if we leave it there, it will be of no use. So we need to extract it. The resources at will play a major role in getting Zambia back to its glorious days and that it was the company’s priority to play a pivotal role in reaching the one million tone copper production per annum as envisaged by the company and the Zambian government.

During the trip to Zambia, Mr Agarwa visited various KCM assets to check on progress on some expansion projects within the company and encouraged both management and workers to remain focused on achieving KCM's aspirations. Motivation for the workers, taking ownership of growth projects by every worker and manager and striving for perfection were some of the key aspects he stressed in the company’s growth.

It is KCM’s vision to explore ways of sending some young school leavers to study in various disciplines in United Kingdom Universities soon as part of manpower development. KCM already sponsors school leavers to study medicine and mining related courses in local universities and those in India and Namibia.

Meanwhile Mr Mahendra Singh Mehta CEO of Vedanta Resources reiterated his call for Konkola Copper Mines management and employees to consolidate the gains in the development of the flagship Konkola Deep Mining Project to bring the project on stream as scheduled. There was also need to ensure KCM upholds its higher safety standards and maximizes current production gains in order to achieve increased productivity.

He noted that the need to mobilize additional equipment needed to expedite the KDMP project which is expected to place KCM among major global copper producers noting that KDMP was KCM's and Zambia’s pride too and that the entire mining fraternity was watching KCM on how it develops the deep mine pride.

He said that the whole mining fraternity is watching KCM the whole world is looking at KCM, while appreciating the enormous work done at the Konkola Deep Mine Project although a lot more needed to be done quickly to ensure the project is completed on schedule and mining for more copper commences.

Mr Mehta reminded management and employees of the company not to relent on efficiency to achieve higher production. According to data, KCM, which intends to raise finished copper production to 400,000 tonnes per year, is currently developing the KDMP to help shore up output. It was management’s view that KCM, as Zambia’s flagship being the highest producer of copper to also focus on ensuring higher recoveries of copper in order to boost productivity.

He said that everything we do should create value, recovery of ore is extremely important and new technology should support you to do better until you become the most cost efficient producer.

Mr Raj Kulkarni GM of KDMP said that the development of the KDMP had advanced and a de watering project currently in place would assist in reaching the rock ahead of commencement to hoist the copper ore.

Mr Jeyakumar Janakaraj CEO of KDMP said that the involvement of contractors in KCM mining activities including at KDMP would create greater efficiency and raise production. The KCM team would set targets in a bid to start production at the KDMP in good time. He said mobilization of additional equipment and award of contracts to contractors would be concluded within reasonable time.

(Filed by Mr Kapembwa Sinkamba SteelGuru Correspondent Zambia)