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Vedanta Resources urges Zambia to halt search for new KCM investor

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.

Vedanta

The government accused Vedanta of failing to honour licence conditions, including promised investment. Vedanta has repeatedly denied it broke the terms of its licence.

Reuters LUSAKA
LUSAKA (Reuters) - 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 declined to comment on the matter.
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 its mining investment arm, 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.
 
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by Helen Reid and David Goodman)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 28 2022 | 4:04 PM IST

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