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NEW YORK — In the end, congressional approval of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue plan Friday did little to lift the financial markets from their growing dejection over the obstacles still facing the economy. Wall Street ended an intensely volatile week with the Dow Jones industrials falling 157 points and the major indexes all suffering big losses.

The credit markets remained stagnant, with no immediate signs of when lending and borrowing would return to levels even approaching normalcy.

Investors dumped stocks late in the session after a big intraday rally, repeating a defensive move seen throughout the yearlong market pullback. As lawmakers voted on the plan, which President Bush quickly signed into law, the Dow advanced more than 300 points. After it passed, the blue chips moved in and out of positive territory.

Investors had been anxious for resolution on the government’s plan to buy up bad assets from banks and other institutions to shore up the financial industry and help resuscitate credit markets. Trading across markets was turbulent throughout the week as investors tried to determine whether the plan would win approval and what effect it might have if implemented. On Monday, the House’s rejection took Wall Street and Capitol Hill by surprise and handed stocks their biggest losses in years.

The Senate subsequently passed a sweetened version of the plan that added tax breaks and raised the limit on federal deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000.

But Wall Street has come to realize passage of the plan is not a quick fix.

“We’re three weeks into a severe credit crunch and it’s causing untold economic damage to the country,” said Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Investments. He said while the bill’s passage will help Wall Street, the broader effects of the paralysis in the credit markets have yet to emerge.

“It’s fairly reasonable to assume that this should help unfreeze the credit markets but what we don’t know is what’s happened so far. How much of a dent has it put into the economy?”

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By Shapi Shacinda

LUSAKA, July 14 (Reuters) – Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) will raise copper cathode output to 250,000 tonnes in 2008/09 from 150,000 tonnes last year and started commissioning a major smelter, a senior company official said on Monday. 

Sam Equamo, KCM’s communications advisor, said the southern African country’s largest copper producer had also completed some shafts at the Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP), which is touted to become the country’s largest copper producer. 

Output would peak at 500,000 tonnes by 2010, he added. 

KCM, which is majority-owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote, Profile, Research), operates the Nchanga open pit mine, Konkola copper mine, Nkana Smelter, Nampundwe pyrite mine and a satellite unit known as Fitwaola mine, which reopened in June after it was shut down last year. 

Equamo said construction works as the Nchanga Smelter was at an advanced stage, with some parts such as the Oxygen Plant and Acid Plant, already commissioned. 

The Nchanga smelter will have an annual processing capacity of 300,000 tonnes copper cathode. 

“It is expected that commissioning of the entire plant will start in a month or two with full operations starting later, depending on the smoothness of the commissioning stage,” said. 

The total amount to be spent on the smelter project is $372 million, he added. 

Equamo said the KDMP, where the company has previously said it would spend at least $1 billion on development, had made tremendous progress. 

“The sinking of number 4 Shaft is at around 450 metres while the headgear is at 60 metres of the ultimate height of 81 metres,” Equamo said. 

He said operations at Fitwaola Open Pit resumed last month and with the expected arrival of new equipment production should pick up. 

Equamo said KCM’s future looked bright due to major upgrades and expansion projects currently underway. 

“With the projects that we are undertaking, KCM is poised to produce around 500, 000 tonnes of copper per annum by 2010,” Equamo said. 

Copper mining is Zambia’s economic mainstay and the vast copper and cobalt mines are a major employer in this southern African country of 12 million people. 

Zambia’s other major copper producers are Mopani Copper Mines, a unit of Swiss firm Glencore International AG and Canada’s First Quantum minerals, Kansanshi mine, which is owned by First Quantum and Lumwana mine, a unit of Australia’s Equinox Minerals Ltd. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

Meanwhile … Konkola Copper shuts plant after protest continue reading below.

LUSAKA, July 14 (Reuters) – Zambia’s Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) said on Monday it had shut down a plant in its Nkana business unit as a precaution after a protest by some of its workers. 

KCM, which is majority-owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc (VED.L: Quote, Profile, Research), did not say what impact the shutdown would have on production or when the plant, located about 350 km (219 miles) north of Lusaka, would be back in operation. 

“A small section of workers at the Nkana Business Unit of Konkola Copper Mines Plc. today staged an illegal assembly in connection with the just concluded negotiations for a new collective agreement between the two unions that represent mine workers and KCM management,” a KCM spokesman said in a statement. 

“The plant was shut down as a precaution.” 

Zambian state media said the workers were upset by reports that their representatives had agreed to a deal that fell short of their basic wage demands. 

There was no immediate comment from the leaders of the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW), which represent workers at KCM. (Reporting By Shapi Shacinda; editing by Paul Simao and Peter Blackburn) (Lusaka newsroom + 260-977843609/260-955779523) 

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When I got my highest corporate position as Operations Liaison at Citigroup, the position was equivalent to Assistant Vice President – Operations.


I was virtually in charge of the day to day running of our franchise in the Auto Division, a position I held until I left to pursue other interests and my personal dream of running my own enterprise(s).


I soon realized that perception was everything in the corporate world and it did not matter what I was made of or even what I said. What was important was what others thought of my capacity to execute and run things.


I was taken aback by what the Lord once asked his disciples in the big black book. Mathew 16:13-16 (NKJV) below … I rarely use biblical analogies even though I love the book but this is by far the best I could think of …


“13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”


Jesus was asking his disciples a perception question. He wanted to know what others out there thought of him and also wanted to know if his disciples themselves knew who he really was.


The moral of the above analogy is that perception, however right or wrong, is actually reality to whoever holds it. It is therefore important that we actually control perceptions of those around us.


We can not control what others think about us entirely but we can certainly circumvent their perceptions of us. Each one of us needs to make sure that the perception of others towards us is positive because people respond based on their perception of what they anticipate would be our reactions to circumstances.


To be successful in any enterprise one needs to have the ability to read people and tailor antitheses to what he/she perceives to be the most logical derivative reaction(s) from the said subjects.


While a lot of this requires a lot of training and understanding oneself, much of it is achievable by sheer instincts and thus culpably realizable. It requires the development of a sixth sense if you like and every one of is capable.


Without the ability to control peoples’ perceptions one is at a loss for advancement in any endeavor be it family, enterprise and otherwise. Most people fail miserably in life and business not because of lack of expertise but because they do not have the ability to circumvent others’ perception(s) of themselves.


The only thing standing between you and that promotion is your boss’s perception of you, the only reason you could not close the last deal was the perception of your client, the only reason you could not get the right investors go alone with your business plan was their perception of you.


You can change any one’s reality by simply changing their perception, the ball is in your court and you have whatever it takes to get started, circumvent others’ perception, get in the driving sit and take control of whatever circumstance(s) pulling you down.


Take a look at yourself today, look around you and evaluate. Do you have a perception problem? If so, it is time you took time to correct it, dress for success and thrive …


If you get a hang on what others think about you, you are halfway to success – trust me, you will feel like a million bucks in the process.


That’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion.

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle


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UN warns on food price inflation

Pakistani women at subsidised food store 03.03.08

Governments are urged to take action to help ease rising prices

The head of the UN World Food Programme has warned that the rise in basic food costs could continue until 2010.Josette Sheeran blamed soaring energy and grain prices, the effects of climate change and demand for biofuels.

Miss Sheeran has already warned that the WFP is considering plans to ration food aid due to a shortage of funds.

Some food prices rose 40% last year, and the WFP fears the world’s poorest will buy less food, less nutritious food or be forced to rely on aid.

Speaking after briefing the European Parliament, Miss Sheeran said the agency needed an extra $375m (244m euros; £187m) for food projects this year and $125m (81m euros; £93m) to transport it.

This is not a short-term bubble and will definitely continue
Josette Sheeran

She said she saw no quick solution to high food and fuel costs.

“The assessment is that we are facing high food prices at least for the next couple of years,” she said.

Miss Sheeran said global food reserves were at their lowest level in 30 years – with enough to cover the need for emergency deliveries for 53 days, compared with 169 days in 2007.

Biofuel prices

Among the contributing factors to high food prices is biofuel production.

Miss Sheeran says demand for crops to produce biofuels is increasing prices for food stuffs such as palm oil.

Miss Sheeran said governments needed “to look more carefully at the link between the acceleration in biofuels and food supply and give more thought to it”.

The WFP says countries where price rises are expected to have a most direct impact include Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Haiti, Djibouti, the Gambia, Tajikistan, Togo, Chad, Benin, Burma, Cameroon, Niger, Senegal, Yemen and Cuba.

Areas where the WFP is already seeing an impact include:

  • Afghanistan: 2.5 million people in Afghanistan cannot afford the price of wheat, which rose more than 60% in 2007
  • Bangladesh: The price of rice has risen 25% to 30% over the last three months. In 2007, the price rose about 70%.
  • El Salvador: Rural communities are buying 50% less food than they did 18 months ago with the same amount of money. This means their nutritional intake, on an already poor diet, is cut by half.
  • Anger over rising food prices have already led to riots in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Morocco.

    The BBC is planning a special day of coverage of this issue on Tuesday 11 March, online, on radio and on TV.

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    By Shapi Shacinda
    LUSAKA, Jan 11 (Reuters) –
    Zambia will introduce a windfall mining tax this year in a move it expects to generate $400 million in revenue, President Levy Mwanawasa said on Friday.
    levy.jpgHe told parliament the new tax regime would effectively increase mining taxes to 47 percent from 31.7 percent.
    Mwanawasa’s government has been pressured by unions over the past few years to spread the benefits of its copper wealth, the mainstay of its economy, to its citizens and workers in the industry who complained of poor wages.
    Mwanawasa said the hike in taxes sought to address those concerns. “The new regime introduces a windfall tax and a variable profit tax that has been designed to work in periods of both high and low prices and for both high and low cost mining projects,” Mwanawasa told parliament, adding that the new system will start in the first three months of this year.
    He blamed tax five to 20 years incentives awarded in recent years to firms for creating an imbalance in mineral wealth between the state and private sector.
    Mwanawasa said Zambia in 2007 only collected $142 million in mineral royalty and company tax from earnings of $4.7 billion in copper and cobalt exports by foreign owners of its vast copper and cobalt mines, despite a 400 percent increase in global metals prices in the past seven years.
    He added that foreign mining firms were expected to earn up $4 billion this year if metals prices kept at current levels. “Clearly, Zambia’s fiscal mining regime is extremely generous and provides the lowest revenues to the government. This to a large extent has been a source of public outcry,” Mwanawasa said.
    Mwanawasa said additional resources from the new tax measures would enable mineral-rich Zambia to spend more on education and health and help achieve its aim to be a prosperous middle-income country by 2030.
    Mwanawasa also said Zambia would introduce uniform tax measures for all foreign miners. “In view of this, there will no longer be any need for special agreements with investors in the mining sector and eventually all the sectors,” he added.
    Mwanawasa said a new regulatory regime would be introduced to safeguard foreign investments in mining. “It will have a modern licensing system based on transparent procedures (and it) will provide for transparency in the accounting and utilization of mineral revenues,” Mwanawasa said.
    Zambia has been in negotiations with mining companies since October last year about proposed increases in mineral royalties, corporate taxes and customs duties on imported equipment, as a way of boosting revenue from the sector. The copper mines are a major employer in this southern African country of 12 million people.
    Source: Guardian Unlimited
    (Reporting By Shapi Shacinda, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

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    levy.jpgPRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa has told Zambians to prepare themselves to participate in global economy as Government increases citizens’ access to investments through the programmes of the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission that kick off this year.

    Addressing the nation on ZNBC radio and television on the even of the New Year, President Mwanawasa said that Government would increase the Zambians’ access to investment through the CEEC, which would enable all citizens, including women and the youth to have an opportunity to fully exploit their entrepreneurial abilities.

    Dr Mwanawasa said the creation of multi-facility economic zone in Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces was another way of empowering the local people and uplift their standards of living through job creations.

    He said Government on its part would continue implementing prudent macro-economic policies to safeguard gains made so far while ensuring the economic activities benefited the people. The focus for this year would, therefore, to grow the economy by at least seven per cent, he said.

    Dr Mwanawasa said Government was keen to ensure that Zambians fully participated in the economic affairs at all levels including the international one, and urged the Zambian private sector to actively participate in the procurement and exploration of petroleum.

    Dr Mwanawasa said Government had worked hard to overcome the challenges, which had been causing the intermittent disruptions in the supply of petroleum. Government had now introduced a long-term supply system, he said.

    “As regards petroleum exploration, I am pleased to note that in the past year, Government has engaged stakeholders in order to finalise proposed amendments to the Petroleum Exploration Act of 1985,” he said.

    Dr Mwanawasa said as soon as amendments to the Act were effected the nation would witness exploration activities in some provinces particularly North-Western Province where selected blocks had already been demarcated.

    On mining, he said, the sector had made tremendous achievements and attracted huge investments but the onus was now on the Government to ensure that full benefits were derived from the ventures.

    He said it was for that reason that this Government had engaged mining companies to re-negotiate the mining development agreements, which he said, would be concluded soon.

    “Fair-minded and objective people will agree that so far, our economic, political and social programmes are on the right track. This is evidenced by the positive economic developments. “At the macro-economic level, the economy has continued to perform very well,” he said.

    Source: Times Of Zambia

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    By Shapi Shacinda

    LUSAKA, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Zambia will export 150,000 tonnes of white maize to a neighbouring country, agriculture and co-operatives minister Ben Kapita said on Friday.

    Kapita, who declined to name the country where maize would be exported, said the planned export by the state-run Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would bring the total national exports this year to 450,000 tonnes.

    “I have clinched a very good deal and I have allowed the FRA to export another 150,000 tonnes of maize to a country within the Southern African Development Community,” Kapita told Reuters in an interview.

    He said the FRA finalised the export deal this week.

    Kapita said total maize exports by the FRA this year would be 300,000 tonnes. Further exports by farmers, millers and grain traders of 50,000 tonnes each would push the total to 450,000 tonnes, he said.

    Kapita said Zambia would only keep 250,000 tonnes white maize in strategic reserves.

    He said the fresh maize exports had been prompted by lack of storage capacity and also to enable the FRA to repay bank loans it received to purchase maize from farmers, transporters and rented storage facilities.

    Kapita also said most of the grain silos had been destroyed following years of neglect and the country did not therefore have enough storage facilities.

    “Instead of letting the maize go to waste due to heavy rains, I decided it is better to export it. I also want the FRA to repay the loans, including the 35 billion (Zambian) kwacha ($9.2 million), which I gave them recently to pay some of the farmers,” Kapita said.

    Kapita said Zambia had also donated 10,000 tonnes white maize to the World Food Programme (WFP) for relief operations in the southern Africa region.

    “We have given the WFP 10,000 tonnes maize for relief operations and that does not include 2,000 tonnes which we donated directly to Swaziland,” he added.

    The minister said Zambia was currently negotiating with the Chinese to repair dilapidated grain silos as the country started to increase its maize production capacity.

    “Right now a team from the FRA is in China to negotiate the repair of silos. We want to build our capacity as most the silos have not been repaired since the 1980s,” Kapita said, but he gave no further details.

    Kapita told Reuters in June that the southern African country of 11.5 million people planned to raise maize output to 4.2 million tonnes within the next three years from 1.3 million tonnes in 2007.

    Zambia has revamped its agriculture sector under plans to diversify the economy and has become a net maize exporter after facing severe maize deficits in the early 2000s.

    The country has in the last few years been providing subsidised pesticides and seed to small scale farmers in a bid to encourage them to grow more maize. (Reporting by Shapi Shacinda, Editing by Peter Blackburn)

    Source: The Guardian

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