THE winding up of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) was stayed by a Zambian court on November 20 allowing the company’s shareholders, Vedanta and Zambia’s state-owned ZCCM-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), to proceed to arbitration.
The ruling by the Court of Appeal represents a significant win for Vedanta, said Reuters. Vedanta is seeking the removal of the liquidator appointed by ZCCM-IH which owns 20% of KCM on the government’s behalf.
The India-based group has been locked in a dispute with the Zambian government since May last year, when Lusaka appointed the liquidator. Legal arguments over the case have been heard in both Zambia and South Africa.
Provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu said the court has not discharged him, and that he would continue to run the company.
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.”
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The dispute between Zambia and Vedanta has been acrimonious at times. In February, Zambia’s mines minister, Richard Musukwa, said the country was the victim of Vedanta’s criminal activity.
Vedanta has said it fears the Zambians are trying to sell off parts of KCM to third parties, and said that by banning the company from the mining premises could pose major safety and technical risks.