Natural resources major Vedanta has said it will invest around $700 million to boost production from the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in Zambia, following the company's previous injection of $300 million as part of the pledge made last year of $1 billion of fresh investments.
According to a Vedanta statement here on Thursday, these investment plans for its Zambian subsidiary were announced by Chairman Anil Agarwal during a two-day visit to Zambia, where he also attended the India-Zambia Business forum held in Lusaka.
Agarwal said Vedanta is fully committed to supporting KCM's plans to increase production to 400,000 metric tonnes per annum in the next few years.
The chairman told reporters on the sidelines of the business forum that KCM will construct a new cobalt refinery, a coal-fired power plant, a training school for upskilling local talent and continue to invest in local communities in the areas of education, health, sport, poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods.
"I was eager to come to Zambia almost 15 years ago at a time when KCM was facing a lot of challenges. We have now created a strong position for KCM after investing over $3 billion. Last year, I pledged to invest an extra $1 billion," a statement cited Agarwal as saying.
Referring to the decision by mining multinational Anglo American, in which Agarwal has become the biggest individual shareholder, to remain in South Africa, he said the country had become another attractive destination for foreign direct investment in view the business friendly disposition of its new President Cyril Ramaphosa.
"Anglo is very much a part of South Africa and they should be proud to remain there. I am happy that they have changed their mind about selling all their assets in South Africa. All this, I am sure, is because investor confidence has picked up in the wake of President Ramaphosa's election," he said.
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