KONKOLA Copper Mines and Zambia Railways have signed a memorandum of understanding which will see the railway company transporting lime from Ndola to the mine in Chingola.
The MoU is expected to culminate into a long- term agreement, which would enable Zambia Railways to transport KCM’s copper anodes from Chingola to Kitwe and also copper cathode from the Nkana Refinery to Dar- es- Salaam, in partnership with Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority ( TAZARA).
KCM head of marketing, logistics and concentrate procurement Amol Mehra, who signed on behalf of the company said Zambia Railways would start by carrying 10,000 metric tones of lime per month destined for KCM from Ndola Lime before it starts to carry copper cathode for export via the port of Dar Es- Salaam.
Mehra said the mining giant was keen to help revive operations of Zambia Railways.
“KCM has been the frontrunner whenever there is a call for support from the government. We see a lot of potential in Zambia Railways and we are extremely pleased that we are ready to start this partnership” he said.
Mehra said KCM would help in whichever way possible to ensure efficiency in Zambia Railways’ operations.
Zambia Railways managing director Professor Clive Chirwa, who signed the MoU on behalf of the railway firm, said the company was ready to ensure it gradually increase volumes of copper to be transported once logistics were put in place.
He said once the copper transportation agreement is concluded, Zambia Railways would be carrying copper to Chozi in Zambia around the border area, where Tazara would then take it all the way to DarEs- Salaam.
“We would like to assure you of quality service and we are trying to address many issues that will bring efficiency to operations of the railway network. We will reduce transit time because we know it is critical to ensuring efficiency,” said Prof Chirwa.
Transport and communications permanent secretary Dr Muyenga Atanga, who witnessed the signing ceremony during a familiarization tour of KCM, said the government was clear on ensuring the railway network was revamped to decongest traffic on major trunk roads.
He said it was the government’s plan ensure most of the 98 per cent cargo currently being hauled on roads to and from Dar- EsSalaam was carried by rail.
“We want the nation to know that KCM is a pillar to this economy and we will do everything possible to ensure that this agreement becomes fruitful because it is within the government’s policy,” said Dr Atanga.