Anil Agarwal, the chairman of Vedanta Resources, remains fully committed to supporting Konkola Copper Mines’ plans to increase production to 400 000 metric tonnes per annum in the next few years.
The growth will be driven by an injection of $700 million, following Vedanta’s previous injection of $300 million (comprising the $1 billion pledge of fresh investments made by Agarwal in 2017).
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is the Zambian subsidiary of the diversified global mining and resources company.
The chairman has also expressed confidence in what he sees as the start of an African economic resurgence driven by various metals.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Zambia-India Business forum, the chairman said that KCM will construct a new cobalt refinery, a coal-fired power plant, a training school for upskilling local talent and will continue to invest in local communities in the areas of education, health, sport and poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods.
“I was eager to come to Zambia almost 15 years ago at a time when KCM was facing a lot of challenges. We have now created a strong position for KCM after investing over $3 billion. Last year I pledged to invest an extra $1 billion. We are targeting strong growth for KCM in the years ahead,” Agarwal stated.
Zambia remains one of Africa’s preferred investment destinations and that further improvements to investment climate, stability in the tax regime and affordable power would attract still more foreign direct investment to the country he continued. Zambia has an excellent pool of talent, which Vedanta and KCM will continue to nurture.
“Our desire is to have a win-win situation. The government must be happy, the Zambian public must be happy and our communities must flourish. We will maintain a continued focus on safety and the environment to realise this. We need to be patient, and we would ask our labour unions to be patient too. We plan to redeploy all the money we make to ensure the growth of KCM,” he added.
Agarwal concluded on the subject of south-south cooperation and investments, saying: “India will need a lot of resources from Africa and this will strengthen cultural and economic relations between, for instance, Zambia and India.”