By NATION REPORTER
VEDANTA is back with a second rip-off and are at the verge of re-taking over Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) with the plan of dumping the financial liabilities on Government, Emmanuel Mwamba has said.
Mr Mwamba, Zambia’s former Ambassador to Ethiopia has said Vedanta was not willing to take up debt owed to Zesco, CEC, contractors, tax obligations, statutory payments of over US$1billion must be taken over by Government.
He said the debt was actually accumulated by Vedanta and this was a sticky issue in the current negotiations.
Mr Mwamba said 20 years ago, they bought a mine valued at US$650 million for US$25 million. Within three months, the mine announced impressive results and that it had made US$100million profit.
“During the 20-year rule, the mine house didn’t pay taxes, declared losses, poisoned our rivers and environment and degraded the mine. Instead of wholly investing in Konkola Deep, the biggest copper reserve, VEDANTA chose to invest in a Tailings Leach Plant (TLP) to quickly process tailings from the Nchanga concentrators and stockpiled tailings and dumps, to produce Copper directly to cathodes,” Mr Mwamba said.
He said instead of investing in mining, Vedanta chose to be buying concentrates from across Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Mr Mwamba said investment pledge of US$350million to partly dismantle debts to utilities and contractors is not available until after six months of taking over the mine.
He said the Liquidator manager must leave immediately to allow a 35-man management from India.