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VEDL - Vedanta News Story

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Sector
Basic Materials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £5.21bn
Enterprise Value £9.21bn
Revenue £9.02bn
Position in Universe 55th / 3011

UPDATE 1-Vedanta's Agarwal says willing to invest in Zambia

Wed 29th May, 2019 3:33pm
* Vedanta fights appointment of provisional liquidator
    * Says court action will drive away investors

 (Updates with miners getting paid, details of interim
management)
    By Chris Mfula
    LUSAKA, May 29 (Reuters) - Vedanta's Chairman Anil Agarwal
said on Wednesday he was prepared to invest in increasing
Zambian copper production to 400,000 tonnes, creating another
10,000 jobs at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), but said "the right
framework" had to be in place.
    Vedanta is fighting Zambia's decision this month to name a
provisional liquidator to run Vedanta Resources' KCM business.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL5N2301RK The government has accused KCM of breaching its
operating licence. 
    Legal proceedings have been adjourned until June 4.
    In an announcement published in Zambian newspapers, Agarwal
said he had told Zambia's president that, "with the right
framework" Vedanta was prepared to increase output.    
    "I am prepared to invest what is required to increase
production safely and sustainably to 400,000 tonnes, creating
another 10,000 jobs at KCM and more social benefits," he said.
    KCM is one of Zambia's largest employers, creating work for
around 13,000 people.
    It has previously said it would raise output to 400,000
tonnes per year, but instead production has fallen because of
technical issues as infrastructure has aged, as well as problems
such as power outages.   
    Production for the full-year ended March 2019 was around
90,000 tonnes.
    Agarwal said Vedanta worked to comply with Zambia's laws and
tax requirements and said he did not understand why
state-controlled ZCCM-IH  ZCCM.LZ , which holds around 20
percent of KCM, had gone to court to seek the appointment of a
provisional liquidator.
    A government source, speaking on condition of anonymity said
the interim management team was working on a plan likely to be
announced by the end of the week.
    A miner told Reuters the workforce had been paid on Tuesday,
around three days later than usual.
    Vedanta Resources, partial owner of the Mumbai-listed
Vedanta group of companies  VDAN.NS , is the majority
shareholder of KCM.
    Agarwal said "the current position" of the Zambian
government would harm the country's "investor-friendly status"
and he said a lot of mining companies were considering leaving
Zambia.
    Other miners present in Zambia include Glencore  GLEN.L  and
First Quantum  FM.TO . First Quantum said it had abandoned plans
to lay off workers, but Glencore has said it is closing shafts
that are no longer economic.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nJ8N1YJ01T  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nJ8N21901F  

 (Reporting by Barbara Lewis in Johannesburg and Chris Mfula in
Lusaka
Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Kirsten Donovan)
 ((Barbara.hm.Lewis@thomsonreuters.com; +44 207 542 2932;
Reuters Messaging:
barbara.hm.lewis.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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