Despite a dispute with investment company ZCCM-Investment Holdings over Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), Vedanta Resources Holdings (Vedanta) and its parent company Vedanta Resources has continued with financial and corporate social responsibility programmes in Zambia.
In May 2019, the Zambian government handed control of Vedanta’s Zambia-based copper-producing subsidiary KCM to a liquidator, and has since been locked in legal arguments over the case, which has been heard in Zambia and South Africa.
Nonetheless, Vedanta says KCM remains committed to supporting its employees and communities by enhancing the corporate social responsibility projects at the mines and within the local communities.
As such, Vedanta is continuing to work with the community on development projects in education, health, sports and sustainable livelihoods programmes, investing over $3-billion in Zambia since Vedanta became a shareholder in KCM in 2004.
KCM employs about 12 000 people in all areas of its operations.
Vedanta’s commitment to contribute to the growth of the Zambian economy has resulted in it paying more than $1.3-billion in taxes toward the Zambian Exchequer.
Vedanta also invested $1.7-billion in growth projects such as $900-million into a new shaft as part of the Konkola Deep Mine project, a new 300 000 t/y smelter and a $700-million concentrator.
Vedanta points out that it spent about $200-million on social programmes, such as malaria “eradication”, healthcare, sports and education. Other social initiatives included two hospitals and 14 satellite clinics to take care of 60 000 Zambians and the extension of support for the malaria programme for 40 000 households every year
Vedanta also says it reduced incidents of malaria by 90%; started and funded three football clubs, hiring good coaches; introduced an adult literacy programme, and provided safe drinking water to over 8 000 residents of Chingola through solar-powered boreholes.
The future of KCM is of “utmost importance” to Vedanta and the company is “committed to making a positive contribution” to KCM’s employees and their families, business partners, suppliers and their employees, local residents and generally the people of Zambia, states Vedanta in a statement.
Vedanta says it will commit to getting KCM back on track if it is returned full control of KCM.
Should the miner be granted full control of KCM, it will invest in social initiatives at KCM, such as the KCM “Go Green” initiative, an adult literacy programme, a leather cottage project, a clean water project and wellness programmes.
In the past five months, corporate social responsibility activity conducted by Vedanta, although limited owing to ongoing litigation, includes the provision of sanitary pads to 3 000 vulnerable school-going girls, who have no proper access to sanitary health and the Chingola Women’s Correctional Facility.
The miner has also provided 25 000 masks to various schools; provided weed killer to four cooperatives, covering over 12 000 ha; sponsored logistics services and masks to disabled persons through a nongovernmental organisation (NGO); sponsored the Vedanta Youth Cup; and distributed tents to NGOs, churches and the Chingola Central Police.
Further, Vedanta facilitated the spraying of mosquito repellent across Chingola town and sponsored the Copperbelt Youth Initiative Programme/Chingola Women of Substance with their NGO activities.