Zambia, Vedanta saga on Konkola Mine on the verge of a settlement

VEDANTA Resources was on the cusp of bringing four years of dispute with the Zambian government over Konkola Copper Mines to a close, this is according to media reports.

The reports quote the Indian firm as saying it was at an “advanced stage” of executing agreements with Zambia that could see Konkola Copper taken out of provisional liquidation.

“Vedanta is alive to the fact that the talks have taken a little longer than initially anticipated,” it said in a statement on Sunday. “The company is firmly committed to the process”.

There’s one matter left to agree on before reaching a deal with Vedanta, Zambian Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe told reporters on Friday, without saying what it was. “We are counting days, it’s no longer months,” he said in Lusaka, the capital.

The Zambian government placed Konkola, of which Vedanta owns 79.4%, into provisional liquidation in 2019, and since then has been locked in legal battles with the company over the asset, said Bloomberg News. The dispute has caused output to plunge.

Vedanta has pledged to invest $1bn in the assets to double annual integrated production to 100,000 tons of copper, with the potential to 200,000 tons in the medium term.

Separately, Konkola struck a deal with Copperbelt Energy Corp., a Zambian power supplier, over a debt the mining company owed it, said Bloomberg News. The agreement will see KCM paying the company $20m in installments.

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