Vedanta’s Zambia court hearing adjourned for a week
A court hearing following Zambia’s decision to name a provisional liquidator to run Vedanta Resources’ Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) business was adjourned for a week on Tuesday without tackling Vedanta’s demands to be involved, the company said.
Vedanta Resources, part-owner of the Mumbai-listed Vedanta group of companies, is KCM’s majority shareholder while Zambian state mining company ZCCM-IH holds a stake of about 20%.
In a statement, Vedanta said the judge had considered preliminary issues brought by ZCCM and reserved judgment until June 11.
The judge did not address Vedanta’s request for it to be involved in the liquidation proceedings, which the company says have so far been one-sided.
“Vedanta does not consider that there are just and equitable grounds to wind-up KCM and will defend all attempts to do so,” it said.
Zambian President Edgar Lungu on Tuesday said the government would press ahead with the intended liquidation of KCM.
“We are resolved and determined on the KCM liquidation process because all the people on the Copper belt want Vedanta to go,” President Edgar Lungu told supporters in Ndola after his arrival for a mining and industrial exhibition.
Zambia’s decision to name a provisional liquidator to run KCM, one of the country’s biggest employers, has unnerved international miners concerned about rising resource nationalism in Zambia and neighbouring countries.
The Zambian government says KCM has breached the terms of its licence.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka and Barbara Lewis in London Editing by David Evans and David Goodman).