Economy

EIZ Notes Shortcomings in KCM Operations, Backs Liquidation

The Engineering Institution of Zambia has backed government’s move to place Konkola Copper Mines under liquidation and has accused foreign owned mining firm of employing under qualified expatriate personnel without the requisite competences in sensitive key management and operational positions.

Institution president Engineer Sydney Matamwandi said at a media briefing that after extensive consultations with our senior members who had extensive hands-on experience in mining, they have identified six serious shortcomings with the mining operations under the control of KCM that we would like to share with the nation.

Engineer Matamwandi explained that mine dewatering which is an essential operation requirement was not being followed.

“The available evidence indicates significant negligence of this operation by the mining company. The threats and consequences of this omission are detrimental to the mining operations as well as to safety” he said.

He went on to say there is a serious backlog in the development of reserves which he said lead to a shortage of ore and feed into downstream operations, especially the smelters.

According to Matamwandi, equipment at KCM is obsolete resulting into inefficiencies and low output.

He revealed that the mining company had neglected skills transfer and development, heavily relying on expatriate personnel, an approach he said is unsustainable to the mine and the country at large.

Matamwandi further indicated that the mining company had neglected to complete the Konkola Deep project, resulting into serious shortage of feed into the smelter.

“The completion of this project would have added significant value to the mining company while creating sustainable employment for our citizens. The current situation is regrettable,” he said.

“The mining company has tended to deploy under qualified expatriate personnel without the requisite competences in sensitive key management and operational positions. This has worsened the inefficiencies and safety risks that are a result of low capitalization and poor levels of capital investment into the mines.”

Matamwandi said the Institution is, therefore, of the view that the above shortcomings must not be overlooked if the viability of the mining operation under the next investor is to be assured.

“Our Institution has commenced engagement with key stakeholders to discuss the above in detail as well as to assist in formulating a set of requirements that should be embedded into any agreement to be entered into with the potential investors, further hoping that the lessons learnt will guide our decision as a nation going forward,” said Matamwandi.

12 Comments

  1. Dude

    Calling on all critics regarding the liquidation of KCM to comment on this great contribution.

    • leave

      Sold out so called useless engineers. None of these thugs have anything to write about other tha licking Lungu’s balls.

      Do these lickers know the implications of liquidation?

      Wait how these tickets will change tune the moment Lungi reverses his decision. Spineless sold out ball lickers.

  2. Zela

    Good observations! Why didn’t you bring up such shortcomings before? Most of this expatriates do not have proper qualifications than Zambians! The inferiority complex that we have as Africans is what is killing us! When you have a technician from Australia, he can even promoted to a consultant leaving our own with degrees! We should change our mind set! Before it is too late do a thorough investigation on Mopani Copper Mines! The copper price has gained! Find out how many of those rentrenched in 2015 have been recalled and the criteria used to do so! I think as Zambians we can do far much better than investors but our attitude and boot licking is the one killing us! Lastly we do not expect the head of State to be running the mines and always put the blame on him! Remember this is our land and we should all benefit from its resources no matter the distance from the Copper belt.

    • Oyista

      Mwana, ndiwe?

    • Dude

      Zela, I like you contribution, this is a good example of constructive critism. Keep it up!

  3. Sad

    Vedanta resources has been in Zambia for so many years.Where has EIZ been all these years,that to day they can comment?

  4. Truth man

    What kind of engineers are these ? Don’t you know that konkola deep mining is very expensive! I think apart from the big tummies they carry I have strong doubts that these people can solve Zambias engineering problems! An engineer solves problems using mathematical applications but they are instead making comments similar to those we hear from illiterate cadres! Do we have qualified engineers who can show for it ? Stop whinning, show the nation what you can offer practically.

  5. Oyista

    I have two comments to mwatamwandi’s and EIZ’s notes on KCM.
    1. EIZ issues licenses to the foreign engineers that work at KCM, how can it become an issue today…calling “under qualified” today?
    2. You guys “EIZ” went to solicited the head of state to attend your function in Livingstone , are you now paying back by siding with him on liquidating KCM, do you know the implications of a liquidation? You have mentioned dewatering of the mine….you should realize that if management at KCM neglected this even for a few hours, there would be no mine to talk about!!!
    It’s always good to have the correct background information before making “notes”

  6. Jairos

    We don’t want them period Kcm must go

  7. Mulenga Patrick

    In Chingola, KCM is known as a corporation that doesn’t care about the feelings of its workers. Zambian people scared are of afraid of their jobs every day while foreigners enjoy full benefits.
    In 2011, KCM fired 11 senior managers who were all Zambian in a bid to reduce the labour force. None of the expatriate workers was affected. From that time it has all been downhill for KCM. Now what I can suggest is that they call back those managers that were let off to try and save the company. I highly doubt any of them will accept the offer, but it’s worth a shot.

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