Message Sam 6 Avr 2013 14:34

ZRL copper-laden rolls out of KCM

KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) has launched a copper-carrying train from its smelters on the Copperbelt Province for on-ward transportation to Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.

Transport and Communication Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda said the transport sector was critical to Zambia’s development.

Colonel Kaunda, who flagged off the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) train at Nkana refinery in Kitwe yesterday, said there could be no meaningful economic development without the railway sector.

He said in the past, Zambia had not done well in the railway sector, which was the most ideal transport to move bulky commodities such as copper.

The deputy minister said ZRL and TAZARA were faced with challenging moments due to deteriorating infrastructure caused by under-capitalisation and inefficiency, among other factors.

Col Kaunda said using road transport to ferry heavy goods was at great cost to the economy, as the maintenance of damaged roads was expensive.

“Since the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came to power, we have embarked on a vigorous programme to revitalise operations of the railway sector in Zambia and I am glad that ZRL and KCM have agreed to initially load 400 tonnes per month of finished copper for export which we will eventually rise to 10,000 tonnes,’’ he said.

Col Kaunda said the Government was earmarked to spend $120 million of the Eurobond proceeds to reconstruct infrastructure for ZRL and rehabilitating TAZARA infrastructure.

ZRL technical service director Yumbya Mwanawina assured KCM of improved service delivery.

Mr Mwanawina said the KCM copper business to Tanzania would grow and that a long-term mutual beneficial relationship would be created.