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Market Cap £13.46bn
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Zambia mines minister slams Konkola Copper Mines liquidation process

Mon 20th September, 2021 4:40pm
LUSAKA, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Zambia's mines minister Paul
Kabuswe on Monday criticised the previous administration's push
to liquidate Vedanta's  VDAN.NS  Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)
unit, which sparked years of wrangling between the company and
government.
    Vedanta and the Zambian government have been in a legal
dispute over the mine and smelter since May 2019 when Zambia,
which owns 20% of KCM through state mining investment firm
ZCCM-IH, handed control of the business to a liquidator.
    Kabuswe's comments, made during a tour of the country's
copperbelt, are a further indication that President Hichilema's
five-week-old administration will seek to roll back state
involvement in the mining sector, the engine of Zambia's
economy.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QG0O1
    "We must never, ever, bring politics in(to) the private
sector," Kabuswe said in a video of a meeting held at KCM, which
circulated widely on social media and was verified by the mines
ministry. 
    "Part of the mess that we are in is because of that
liquidation process," he added.
    The state-appointed provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu
split KCM into two units, KCM SmelterCo Limited and Konkola
Mineral Resources Limited, which he was looking to sell.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2K717V
    But any potential buyers were wary of legal complications,
with Vedanta calling the split illegal, and arbitration between
Vedanta and Zambia ongoing in London. 
    Kabuswe, in the filmed comments, said he was disappointed
Lungu was not at the meeting at KCM. Lungu told Reuters he had
not received any official communication of a meeting taking
place on Monday.
    Vedanta earlier this month said it wanted to open a dialogue
with ZCCM and was committed to investing $1.5 billion into KCM.

 (Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka; Writing by Helen Reid;
Editing by Jan Harvey)
 ((Helen.Reid@thomsonreuters.com; +27 66 156 5214;))
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