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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Vedanta urges Zambia to halt search for new KCM investor

Economy Vedanta urges Zambia to halt search for new KCM investor

Zambia should halt the search for a new investor in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) until litigation with Vedanta Resources is settled, the Indian mining company said on Tuesday.

Zambia’s previous government put KCM in the hands of a liquidator in May 2019, triggering the ongoing legal dispute with Vedanta Resources, KCM’s parent company.

The government accused Vedanta of failing to honour licence conditions, including promised investment.

Vedanta has repeatedly denied it broke the terms of its licence.

KCM provisional liquidator Celine Nair said on June 7 that the company would appoint an adviser to help it to find an equity investor willing to fund the mine’s expansion.

But Vedanta Resources spokesperson Masuzyo Ndhlovu told Reuters on Tuesday that no investor could buy the mine and smelter complex without the consent of Vedanta.

“Significant efforts to sell KCM to other companies were made previously, but these efforts failed,” Ndhlovu said in a written response to Reuters questions.

Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe and the government’s mining investment firm ZCCM-IH declined to comment on the matter.

“Due to the ongoing court action, ZCCM-IH is constrained to comment on the matter,” ZCCM-IH spokeswoman Loisa Mbatha told Reuters.

Vedanta would not participate in KCM’s eventual open tender to select a new investor, Ndhlovu said, calling it “illegal”.

An arbitration hearing in London is due to take place in January 2023.

Vedanta had hoped discussions with the government and ZCCM-IH, could culminate in an amicable settlement, Ndhlovu said.

“Continuation of further legal proceedings will cost a lot to Zambia and also KCM assets continue to deteriorate with no funding available,” Ndhlovu said.

Vedanta has offered to step up investment in KCM if it resumes control of the business.

8 COMMENTS

  1. This is what you get when you have brainless cowards handling national matters. Isn’t this a great insult to Zambians? Vedanta breached the Development Agreement so which rights have they?

  2. There is no harm in hunting for a new investor even if litigation is still going on as they need to be prepared to take over at a moments notice with the new investor should the ruling be in favor of the government.

  3. We told Lazy Lungu that you would have got KCM legally without grabbing but the tool never listened to us expect his corrupt advisers at State House…if Vedanta ever came out of this case successful it would be very costly to the country.

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