ABOUT of copper cables valued at US$27,606 have been stolen from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in the first quarter of this year.
KCM chief executive officer Steven Din said in a statement released by the company’s public relations and communications manager Shapi Shacinda that management is disturbed by the retrogressive development.
Mr Din said theft remains a big challenge KCM continues to face and suspects such illegal acts are allegedly being done in conjunction with people within the system.
“One of the most discouraging things I face on a day-to-day basis are reports of theft. In the first quarter, a total of 28 incidences of copper cable thefts were recorded involving 1,035 metres with a value of US$27,600.
“Three contractor employees have been convicted and jailed for these offences. Not only does cable theft cost the company money, it also interferes with production and places the safety of our people at risk,” Mr Din said.
He appealed to all KCM employees to take ownership of the company assets and ensure they report illegal activities, which are detrimental to the company, to management.
“It is critical that we do not allow these thieves to undermine the good work that we are doing to improve KCM’s performance,” Mr Din said.
He also urged employees to increase their input to increase production.
Mr Din said the current low copper prices at the international market calls for a lot of work from individual employees to ensure KCM protects its business through accelerated production.
“We have no control over the copper price, which is set on the international market. As we look ahead, we need to work even harder to turn-around our business under these circumstances,” Mr Din said.
Copper prices have dropped below US$6,000 per tonne on the international market.