The Court of Appeal sitting at Ndola has ordered a halt to liquidation proceedings for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to allow owners Vedanta and ZCCM-IH to proceed to arbitration.
Provisional Liquidator Milingo Lungu said in a statement that the Court of Appeal has not discharged him and that he would continue to run the company.
Mr Lungu said he retains the full powers as granted the High Court of Zambia on May 21, 2019.
“In view of the latest Judgment, I wish to update employees, business partners, the nation and all KCM stakeholders. Further, that operations of KCM remain on course with safe production ramp-up being the key focus as the company continues to engage with its business partners in a normal way,” he said.
“As provided for under the Corporate Insolvency Act and powers granted to the Provisional Liquidator, the Provisional Liquidator continues to exercise the executive responsibility of running the Company, and the KCM Executive Management Committee remains accountable to the Provisional Liquidator.”
“I therefore urge all employees to continue working normally, safely and remain steadfast in the pursuit to make KCM a great organization. Our stakeholders should also remain calm as we continue to work together towards a common goal of increased safe production,” he said.
The ruling by the Court of Appeal represents a significant win for Vedanta, which is seeking the removal of the liquidator appointed by state mining investment firm ZCCM-IH – which owns 20% of KCM on the government’s behalf – to run the company.
The India-based group has been locked in a dispute with the Zambian government since May last year, when the PF government appointed the liquidator.
Legal arguments over the case have been heard in both Zambia and South Africa.
A spokesman for Vedanta said: “Vedanta notes reports of the judgement from The Court of Appeal ruling in favour of Vedanta on all counts, with costs being awarded to Vedanta and with the winding up proceedings being stayed.”
“Vedanta will review the full written judgement upon receipt.