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Arbitration hearing set for January in Vedanta-Zambia dispute

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Signage for Vedanta Assets Ltd. is displayed on the firm’s workplace constructing in Mumbai, India, on Thursday, March 6, 2020. The worlds most expansive lockdown to include the coronavirus might sluggish the tempo of distressed dealmaking in India, based on Vedanta Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Aarti Raghavan. Photographer: Kanishka Sonthalia/Bloomberg by way of Getty Photos

LUSAKA, June 1 (Reuters) – Zambia’s resolution three years in the past to take management of a copper mine within the nation’s north shall be topic to an arbitration listening to in January in London, the nation’s mines minister stated on Wednesday, amid a prolonged dispute over the mine’s possession.

Zambia in Could 2019 handed management of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to a state-appointed provisional liquidator, triggering a authorized battle with its earlier proprietor, India-listed Vedanta VDAN.NS, with arguments heard in Zambia and South Africa and the dispute going to worldwide arbitration.

Zambia’s authorities accused Vedanta on the time of failing to honour licence situations, together with promised funding – which Vedanta has denied.

Mines Minister Paul Kabuswe stated the referral to arbitration got here after authorized rulings.

“Following the Courtroom of Enchantment’s resolution to remain proceedings and refer the matter again to arbitration – a call supported by the Supreme Courtroom – a listening to is now set for ninth January 2023,” Kabuswe stated in an announcement.

Learn extra: Zambian President thanks China for assist in debt restructuring

“Within the interim, efforts are persevering with to discover a resolution that unlocks KCM’s potential and delivers most profit to the folks of Zambia.”

Kabuswe once more denied hypothesis that the federal government plans to present KCM again to Vedanta, saying Vedanta had “sacrificed” its licence to function within the nation. The corporate has provided to speculate as much as $1.5 billion in KCM if it resumes management of the mine. Learn full story

“Now we have at all times said that we [want to] amicably resolve the problems surrounding KCM directly as a manner of revitalizing the nation’s financial system,” a Vedanta spokesperson stated in an announcement, including that the funding Vedanta has promised might assist Zambia attain its objective of manufacturing 3 million tonnes of copper a yr within the subsequent decade.

Kabuswe additionally commented on Mopani Copper Mines, one other main mining operation for which the federal government is looking for a brand new investor. He stated “market-based capital elevating options needs to be carried out at Mopani, somewhat than relying immediately or not directly on the restricted public funds”.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that earlier proprietor Glencore was serving to Mopani Copper Mines make ends meet, together with via letters of credit score, based on sources. Learn full story

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