Provisional liquidator for Konkola Copper Mines ( KCM) Milingo Lungu says the theft of a software key at the mine was an inside job and that an employee has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Copperbelt Commissioner of police Charity Katanga confirmed that a Zambian, Ian Zimba, is in custody charged with stealing two disks worth US$1,000 and that an Indian is being investigated.
Mr Lungu has also clarified that the theft of the software keys did not disrupt the operations at Nchanga smelter because the plant had ceased production a few weeks before the takeover of the mine by Government.
Mr Milingo said all the assets at KCM are secured and that everything is intact, except for the software key which was stolen last week.
“Claims going round that assets such as vehicles are being sold at the mine are misplaced. We only had an incident where a key to the software was stolen.This was an inside job and one employee has been arrested,” Mr Milingo said.
He also refuted reports that contaminated diesel was retrieved from the machine.
Mr Milingo, however said the drivers of the trucks which supply diesel to the mine could have mixed the fuel with the water when doing their illegal business outside the mine premises, but that the system detected the fault.
He said production at Nchanga smelter was halted because of lack of Copper concentrates.
Mr Milingo said companies which supply the mine with Copper concentrates terminated their services a few weeks before Government took over the operations.
“Nothing was disrupted at the smelter because it was not operating due to lack of Copper concentrates. The mine did not pay the suppliers of the Copper concentrates and so they withdrew their services,” he said.
Mr Milingo said production at the Smelter will resume on June 21st as KCM sources funds to pay the suppliers.
He said KCM has started paying agents and critical services providers such as pump operators.
Mr Milingo said local suppliers and contractors will be paid when KCM starts making revenue from its production.
He assured the mining community that assets at the Mine are safe and urged them not to listen to social media reports which suggest assets are being stripped off.
Credit: Smart Eagles