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KCM to liquidate $16M debt

NKWETO MFULA, Chingola
KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) says it will liquidate the outstanding US$16 million debt owed to its local suppliers and contractors by the end of this quarter.
KCM vice-president for local economic development David Paterson told the press in Chingola yesterday that the Vedanta Plc-owned mining company welcomes the engagement with the Mine Suppliers and Contractors Association of Zambia on the debt payment plan.
“We have been liquidating the debt by making payments towards the said amount and it has reduced by now. We rely upon our local suppliers as much as they rely upon us,” Mr Paterson said.
He added: “We do understand the situation prevailing with the local suppliers and we will respond accordingly.”
Mr Paterson said KCM is increasing production at its operations in Chingola to improve cash flow.
“We are in a difficult business condition. KCM, just like other mining companies around the world, is facing difficulties with the falling copper prices,” he said.
He said copper prices on the international market have fallen from US$6,500 to about US$5,000 per tonne.
“Payment of value-added tax refunds by Government will help improve cash flow of the company,” Mr Paterson said.
He said KCM will increase business with the local suppliers on the Copperbelt.
Mine Suppliers and Contractors Association of Zambia president Augustine Mubanga said there is an outstanding bill of US$16 million as at April this year.
“KCM is a going concern as debts keep on increasing on their books as well. We engaged KCM and we have been assured that they [KCM] would settle the outstanding amount,” he said.
And on sending back imported copper concentrates from Chile which contains arsenic, Mr Paterson said the mining company is in discussions with Government on resolving some issues.

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