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Africa strategy anchored in Zambia’s Copperbelt, Southern African zinc and West African iron ore
Tom Albanese, CEO of Vedanta Resources plc, outlined his vision for Vedanta in Africa while delivering a keynote address at the Mining on Top summit in London this morning, which brought together senior government officials, the mining industry, investors and civil society.
‘’Vedanta Resources has been in Africa now for more than a decade, and I am bullish about the potential, both of our existing companies and their opportunities but also for the future of mining across Africa.’’
Speaking about the mining industry’s contribution to economic development, Mr Albanese said, ‘’mining has already created much that is positive, but there are new expectations of what we need to do in the future. I suggest that we can indeed create yet more value, building on a century’s learning and leveraging what we do across the African continent, to provide more benefits, more advantages and more wealth for all stakeholders.’’
Introducing Vedanta’s operations in Southern Africa, Tom Albanese said: ‘’Part of our new vision at Vedanta is for an integrated zinc/lead business in southern Namibia and the Northern Cape of South Africa, creating an integrated zinc smelter/refinery complex at Rosh Pinah. We will be looking to see how we can further leverage this economically in an area of high unemployment and a fragile arid zone biodiversity. This becomes our zinc anchor in Africa.’’
‘’In the Zambian Copperbelt, at KCM, we continue to invest and to develop. Vedanta paid $261 million to acquire a 79.4% stake in KCM. We have invested $2.9 billion over the last decade in a new copper smelter, 3 new concentrators, a tailings leach plant and new underground facilities. We have reinvested all of our earnings back into the company. This has supported the creation of 5,000 new construction jobs and in the meantime, salaries at KCM have more than doubled in real terms. In support of wider economic development in the area, we continue to expand our vocational technical college – one of the largest private sector facilities in the region. We have paid more than $850 million in taxes and local rates. To add to this, we have spent $120 million on local community initiatives in areas including malaria prevention, sustainable agriculture, school, clinics and community healthcare.’’
Mr Albanese went on to say that ‘for technical reasons that have delayed the ramp-up of copper production after these massive investments, KCM has been loss-making of late and some challenges remain, but to be clear, Vedanta Resources is committed to KCM and to Zambia. We have a 50 year vision for KCM and opportunities in the Copperbelt as our copper and cobalt anchor for our future African growth.’
Turning to West Africa, Mr Albanese said, ‘we have an opportunity to be an important part of the Liberian economy with a phased ramp-up of our Western Cluster business as we develop the necessary infrastructure.’’
He concluded his speech with a call to action to create real sustainability in mining. ‘’Some have suggested that mining sustainability is an oxymoron: how can digging up and removing something be sustainable? But I believe that mining can be sustainable if we are putting back an equal value of future opportunity. At Vedanta, we appreciate how we need to do this and we will continue to engage widely to create this shared value. Creating future opportunities in return for today’s commodities is not just a ‘nice to have’: it is essential for the sustainability of our companies, our industry, our communities and the nations and people of Africa.’’
About Vedanta Resources Plc
Vedanta Resources plc (“Vedanta”) is a London listed diversified global resources major. The
group produces Aluminium, Copper, Zinc, Lead, Silver, Iron ore, Power, and Oil and Gas.
Vedanta has world-class assets in India, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, Liberia,
Australia and Sri Lanka and a strong organic growth pipeline of projects. With an empowered
talent pool globally, Vedanta places strong emphasis on partnering with all its stakeholders
based on the core values of entrepreneurship, excellence, trust, inclusiveness and growth.
For more information, please visit: www.vedantaresources.com
Copies of the speech are available at www.vedantaresources.com
For further information, please contact:
Executive Vice President
Group Communications & CSR
Tel: +91 22 6646 1330
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