By JOHN SAKALA
Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) Chief Executive Officer Deshnee Naidoo has promised to work hard with her team to re-establish KCM’s reputation as one of the world’s leading producers of the metal.
Ms Naidoo who is also Vedanta Africa Base Metals CEO under which KCM falls said the target of producing the 400 plus tonnes of copper is achievable.
She was speaking in Chingola where she addressed employees during the launch of the Safe 400+ tonnes Campaign, an initiative introduced to push copper production to a minimum of 400 tonnes per day in a safe manner. KCM’s production is on an upward trajectory, averaging 350 tonnes per day in June.
“The numbers show that the 400+ tonnes target is achievable. The management team has initiated this campaign to bring in new energy and give the momentum another push. The 400+ tonnes figure is what KCM needs in order to break-even and start making money.
“KCM has a worldwide reputation for having one of the best copper ore bodies. We also have a reputation for having some of the best people in the industry. We have to produce at the level that this asset was designed to produce,” Ms Naidoo said.
She said change had dawned at KCM in terms of production and urged the workforce to pull together safely towards the target of 400 tonnes per day.
She said as a starting point, there is need for KCM to pull together towards the Safe 400+ tonnes number, thereby showing the world that KCM is a serious business.
Ms Naidoo emphasised that safety was the highest priority in the production value chain, adding that she could and would shut down a mining area or processing plant if the safety of employees was under threat.
“The first thing on my mind, as a priority for KCM, is safety. We cannot have production if it does not come safely. When there is a fatality, it hurts and devastates. We do not want production if it is not safe. We are so committed to this objective that we will stop production if needed, to make that clear,” she said.
Ms Naidoo assured the team that she would build up on the good work done on safety at KCM up to now. The company has also planned a bonus scheme for employees and other recognitions as part of the employee incentives during the campaign.
This is according to a media statement made available to The Independent Observer by KCM Manager Public Relations and Communications Shapi Shachinda.