Zambia’s Energy Minister orders KCM to speed up creditor payments

Energy Minister in Africa’s second largest copper hotspot has ordered Vedanta’s subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines, to pay delayed salaries. Honorable Matthews Nhuwa cautioned the miner to desist from prioritizing power bills at the expense of its staff well-being. This follows the recent power restriction to Nchanga smelter by Copperbelt Energy Corporation – CEC.

This has however led to a delay in payment of August salaries to second week of September as the miner address electricity dues to CEC.

Read also: Vedanta’s delisting, KCM cobalt and power quagmires

“We wish to advise that management salaries for the month of August 2018 will be paid in the second week of September 2018. This delay is due to pressure to fulfil the payment commitments with the power supply.” (A memo on 04 September from Vice President Beatrice Mutambo carried)

The minister also ordered KCM to provide the state with a list of all its creditors. KCM has been known for delaying creditor payments that have impacted the mining town of Chingola. Most SMEs  that provide services to the mines have not been paid in a very long time, undisclosed sources said.

“If a large conglomerate like KCM is failing to pay its creditors the government may have to intervene,” Nkhuwa said in an interview from China.

The mining giant has been embattled with legal, power, pollution, ‘cobalt smuggling allegations’ and now creditor claims over the last one year.

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