ZCCM-IH to leverage off buoyancy in mining to maximize shareholder value.
THE Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine- Investment Holdings ( ZCCM-IH) Chairman Eric Silwamba, has charged that mining will continue to be...
By James Nyirenda
THE Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine- Investment Holdings ( ZCCM-IH) Chairman Eric Silwamba, has charged that mining will continue to be Zambia’s main economic driver for the foreseeable future. As such, the nation’s mining investment vehicle ( ZCCM-IH) will continue to leverage its unique position as a key player in the extractive sector to create value for its shareholders.
In recent years, the mining industry by and large experienced a decline in growth as a result of weak copper prices on the back of low demand by key consumer countries such as China, Silwamba said.
He added that, the first half of 2016 saw a continued deficit in energy, which resulted in low production and productivity hence reduced revenues for most mining companies. With the lower than expected performance in the mining sector, revenues for the IH Group plummeted. “The last quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017 saw an improvement in copper production for most major mining companies due to stability in energy supply and an improvement in copper prices on the world market,” he said.
Silwamba indicated that growth in the mining sector is expected to continue as major economies mainly the United States of America - USA and China have embarked on expansion programs in the manufacturing and infrastructure development sectors.
“ZCCM-IH is poised to take advantage of the expected buoyancy of the mining and related sectors to increase shareholder value,” he stated.
On financial performance, Silwamba said the group’s retained earnings as at 31 March 2017 were positive at ZMW891million and ZMW147million in 2016. The increase in retained earnings was attributed to profit recorded at group level of ZMW729million with a loss of ZMW2,912million in 2016. The company’s retained earnings increased by 740% to ZMW731million as of 2016 with ZMW87million owing to profits recorded at company level.
He emphasised that, recovery in copper prices as well as stability in energy supply will contribute to the growth in copper production, which in turn will lead to growth in copper exports. The expected growth is further confirmed by additional investments of over USD$2billion over the next several years announced by major multinational investors in the mining sector of Zambia.
“In response to the positive outlook, ZCCM-IH will implement a new strategic plan hinged on expansion of its investment footprint in various sectors of the economy including mining with a focus on industrialisation, energy, agriculture, manufacturing, real estate and financial services,” Silwamba said.
Meanwhile ZCCM- IH CEO Dr. Pius Kasolo said the company has continued to meet its social obligations during the year by supporting various social and cultural events and educational programs among others.
He said the major corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for year were aimed at supporting the realisation of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with the SDG number six (6) which aims at ‘ensuring access to water and sanitation for all’. During a media briefing in Lusaka, Dr. Kasolo disclosed that ZCCM-IH supported livelihoods improvement interventions focused on women by promoting horticultural farming activities. ZCCM-IH provided treadle pumps to ten (10) women groups aimed at improving access to water for irrigation thereby increasing sources of income from farming activities.
“In total, the company spent ZMW0.21million in 2016 supporting various corporate social responsibility activities. The company’s environmental related activities continued to be managed through Misenge Environmental and Technical Services Company Limited (METS), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of ZCCM-IH,” Dr. Kasolo narrated.