February 7, 2002

Government takes over Konkola Mine

The Zambian government has taken over the assets of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) following the announced impending pull out of major shareholders, Anglo American Plc. According to a letter by finance minister Emmanuel Kasonde to Anglo American Corporation chairman in Lusaka Mr. S. R. Thompson dated February 5, 2002 , the government had resolved to take the decision to avert the possible devastating social and economic consequences in the event of a closure of the mine.

Referring to earlier correspondence from Anglo, Kasonde stated that the government's understanding of the matter was that the former would not continue funding KCM beyond three months. He stated that this position has left the government with only two months in which to find an alternative option to ensure undisrupted operations of KCM beyond April 2002. "Among the options you have given us is the orderly closure of the operations," the letter read in part. Kasonde further stated that it was the government's categorical position that this option was not acceptable. (THE POST)

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