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Kabuswe addresses challenges and future prospects in Zambia’s mining sector

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In a recent press conference held on 5th January 2024, Mines and Minerals Development Minister Paul Kabuswe expressed disappointment over the protest by mine worker unions on the Copperbelt, despite the government’s transparent handling of the takeover of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by Vedanta Resources.

The minister, addressing the media in Lusaka, revealed his shock at the protest, emphasizing that all mine worker unions were actively involved in the processes leading up to Vedanta Resources becoming the equity shareholder at KCM.

Independent observer reports that Kabuswe assured that challenges at KCM had been resolved following Vedanta’s return, with all necessary documents signed.

Kabuswe highlighted that the government and Vedanta had fulfilled their obligations, leaving only the court’s involvement to commence the process of removing the Provisional Liquidator, Celine Nair, at KCM. Vedanta has filed a consent judgment, aiming to expedite this process.

Addressing concerns about Mopani Copper Mine’s equity partner, Investment Resources Holdings, Kabuswe dismissed doubts, stating the company has the capacity to develop the mine in collaboration with the government.

Kabuswe also touched upon the issue of illegal mining operations in the country, labeling it a “legacy issue.” He announced the government’s efforts to establish a Mining Regulator, asserting its commitment to robust enforcement against illegal mining activities.

In conclusion, Kabuswe expressed optimism about the future, emphasizing exciting times ahead for Zambia’s mining sector.

However, the situation remains complex, with ongoing legal proceedings and the need for collaboration between the government and mining companies.

As the mining industry in Zambia undergoes these transitions, the roles of key players like Vedanta Resources, led by Anil Agarwal, and the historical significance of the Oppenheimer family in the global mining landscape add layers of complexity to the unfolding narrative.

The government’s transparent approach and commitment to resolving challenges signal a potential turning point for the sector, with Vedanta’s involvement and the upcoming court proceedings shaping the future landscape of mining in Zambia.

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