The Zambian government, through its investment arm in mining firms, signed two agreements Monday that are important for the revitalization of one of the country’s mining firms.
The Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings and India’s Vedanta Resources inked shareholders and implementation agreements for the operation of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). These agreements will help regulate the KCM business by outlining the obligations of the shareholders.
Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Paul Kabuswe said the government is committed to ensuring the revival of the KCM, which would help uplift the welfare of workers and ensure that suppliers and contractors are paid.
“We are working tirelessly to resolve all outstanding matters within the shortest possible time while following due processes,” he said during the signing ceremony.
Kabuswe called on all stakeholders to be patient as the government worked to address the remaining issues. According to him, it has taken three months to finalize some of the necessary documents for the various agreements required for Vedanta’s return to the KCM since the announcement in September.
Chris Griffith, chief executive officer for base metals at Vedanta Resources, said the signing of the two agreements is a significant demonstration of the commitment of both parties to kick-start operations at the KCM.
The forward-looking agreements outline the rights and obligations of the shareholders, Griffith said, adding that it was a substantial step that would lead to the establishment of a scheme of arrangements.
The previous Zambian government placed KCM under the control of a liquidator in May 2019, alleging that Vedanta Resources had failed to comply with license conditions, which prompted the Indian company to pursue legal remedies.
However, the current government opted for an out-of-court resolution. In September of this year, the government declared that it had successfully addressed all outstanding matters with Vedanta Resources, paving the way for its return. Vedanta Resources holds an 80 percent stake in KCM, with ZCCM-IH owning the remaining 20 percent.