Chibuluma mines confirms 263 jobs are to go

Chibuluma Mines Plc, majority owned by Metorex of South Africa has confirmed that it is sacking off 236 workers as part of its restructuring process.

The firm says the restructuring plan is scheduled to be carried out within the first quarter of 2016.

The company says the restructuring process is inevitable as its Chibuluma South Mine is fast approaching its end of life.

This is contained in a statement released by Chibuluma Mines Plc – Board Chairman Jackson Sikamo.

‘The mining and geotechnical conditions have become more challenging with the costs of mining continuously rising. Chibuluma Mines Plc’s performance in the financial year 2015 has been characterized by low production volumes and this coupled with the continuously falling copper prices has put severe pressure on the Company’s cash-flow,’ Mr. Sikamo said.

‘The Company is in a loss making situation which, if left unaddressed may force the Company to suspend its operations permanently. Management has therefore resolved to restructure the business, in order to ensure the survival of the Company.’

Mr. Sikamo added that the restructuring places focus on reducing mining rates, substantially outsourcing mining and ore transfer activities and significantly reducing overhead expenditure.

‘Through this process, various mine operating survival options have been considered and though the available options are not economically viable, the Company through its majority shareholder Metorex (Pty) Limited has made a strategic long term decision and selected the survival option with the least losses over the life of the mine,’ he said.

Mr. Sikamo outlined the measures such as the continued development of the Chifupu Copper development project to ensure prolonged Mine life from 2018 to 2022.

He also revealed that management has decided to reduce mining output from Chibuluma South to approximately 27,000 tons per month from 45,000 tons and outsource mining and processing plant ore transfer activities as part of the restructuring plan.

Chibuluma Mines Plc was incorporated in October 1997 following the privatization of the then Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited.

The Company’s copper mining operations are located in Lufwanyama district.

ZCCM-IH shares snubbed

ABOUT 28 million Government shares in ZCCM- Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) that were offered for sale to Zambians have been shunned. Only 0.1 percentage point shares being bought when the offer closed on November 30, 2015.

ZCCM-IH has attributed the poor response to the preferential secondary market offer to the challenges facing the global copper mining industry.

On July 30, 2015, Government offered Zambian citizens 27,961,237 shares, represents 17.4 percent of its shareholding in the mining conglomerate.

In a statement released by Stock Brokers Zambia last week, only 805 applications were received and processed, representing a total of 226,064 shares (0.1 percent shareholding in ZCCM-IH) that were subscribed.

This means the residual shares amounting to 27,735,173 representing 17.3 percent shareholding in ZCCM-IH will still be retained by Government.

Commenting on the development, ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Pius Kasolo said the results of the preferential offer to Zambian citizens signify the challenges facing the global copper mining industry, and particularly the holding company’s significant portfolio concentration in the industry.

Despite the interim concerns, primarily driven by slower than historical Chinese demand for commodities, we are confident that the long-term prospects of the company remain overwhelmingly strong, and that the present difficulties offer a chance to learn, adapt, diversify, and realise benefits from opportunities that would not otherwise be possible under ‘normal’ market conditions,

he said.

Dr Kasolo said ZCCM-IH will remain committed to enhancing long-term shareholder value by continually seeking viable and sensible investment opportunities, while navigating prudently through challenging times.

ZCCM-IH will engage Government on the need to continually approach both Zambian and foreign investors to maximise their participation in the mining sector,

he said.

The shareholding structure subsequent to allotment will now be 60.3 percent which translates into 96,926,669 shares for Industrial Development Corporation, 17.3 percent (27,735,173 shares) for Government but held directly through the Minister of Finance.

National Pension Scheme Authority holds 15 percent, translating into 24,120,043 shares and other shareholders owns 7.4 percent which is 12,018,401 shares.

1,000 get house offers

CHINGOLA residents have been offered to buy 1,000 former ZCCM-Investment Holding (ZCCM-IH) housing units at a cost of K1,337 per unit.

The houses will be offered to sitting tenants in line with Government’s home empowerment policy.

This came to light when Nchanga member of Parliament Wilbur Simuusa and Chingola town clerk George Mulenga met prospective beneficiaries at Banda Market in Nchanga-North yesterday.

Mr Mulenga told sitting tenants that the Ministry of Lands has since prepared letters of invitation of treaty to 500 of them, while the other 500 letters will be done at a later stage.

He said beneficiaries have been given 90 days in which to pay the required amount in full.

Nationwide power outage impacts KCM operations

HINGOLA, 11TH December 2015, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operations and production have been affected by a countrywide power blackout which occurred from about 10:35 PM on Thursday, 10th December, 2015.

Following the power outage, KCM was able to bring on line 16MW of power using its own emergency diesel generator set at Konkola mine supported by another 40MW in emergency power supplied by the CEC from its gas turbines. This power allowed KCM to continue to pump water and withdraw its employees in a planned and disciplined manner. All employees at both the Nchanga and Konkola underground mines were withdrawn without injury or incident.

However, around 04:30 AM on Friday, KCM lost the emergency power supply after the national power system tripped as attempts were being made to reconnect the company to the national grid. Full supply of power was finally restored to KCM at about 09:40AM today. Production was suspended during the power outage.

Consequently, it will take KCM about 16 hours to restart operations at its Nchanga smelter in Chingola. The company will also suffer some slight loss of production at Konkola while pumping out of water continues from the deeper sections of the mine.

The rest of the operations are being systematically returned to production following full safety and environmental checks.

Shapi Shachinda

Manager Public Relations & Communications

Mobile: 0978 871958

First lady says KCM is trusted development partner

Zambia’s First Lady Esther Lungu has said Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is a trusted development partner for the country following its expansive social investments in the last 11 years.

The first lady said this when she addressed hundreds of residents of Shimulala, Helen and Kakosa settlements on the outskirts of Chingola, where the company’s corporate head office is located. She visited sites of KCM’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes.

Mrs Lungu commissioned the new Helen Bridge which was constructed by KCM at a cost of Zk877,635.00 (US$82,640.00). She also laid a foundation stone for an Out-Grower project seeking to empower local farmers and toured other KCM-funded CSR projects.

The newly constructed Helen Bridge has eased movements of over 4,000 people living in the area as they carry produce and other goods to markets in Chingola and beyond. It also connects people to health and education facilities outside of their settlements.

The Nabona out-growers programme targets to provide about 500 small and medium scale farmers with access to markets in an organised way to ensure quality and planned production.

I want to urge the community to continue to work closely with Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) because this is your trusted partner. KCMhas stood by you in good and difficult times,

she said.

“I must commend KCM for providing 22 hectares of land on lease to proprietors of Nabona as this will create employment for farmers and the young people,” Mrs Lungu said.

Mrs Lungu also paid glowing tribute to KCM for empowering women with life-saving skills in cattle rearing, tailoring and farming.

“I want to attest that it is evident that KCM has spent US$160 million in communities over the last 11 years,” Mrs Lungu told residents after touring some CSR projects, including the cattle restocking project.

I have seen some of the key projects where these funds have been spent.

She said it was heartening that the company was focusing on four corporate social responsibility pillars, namely education, health, sustainable livelihoods and sport.

The first lady encouraged KCM to continue uplifting the lives of people in its areas of operations. KCM has given out over 596 cattle in Chingola, Chililabombwe and Nampundwe and also provided 2,327 goats to 26 self-help groups.

Mrs Lungu said social investments by KCM fitted into President Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s vision for a public private partnership models for diversifying the economy and shoring up growth.