Zambian presidency refutes reports of giving mining firm back to Indian company

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hakainde-hichilema
hakainde-hichilema

The Office of Zambia’s President Hakainde Hichilema on Tuesday refuted media reports that the government has given back Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) back to India’s Vedanta Resources.

Clayson Hamasaka, the Media Director at State House, said the government has not given back the mine to Vedanta because the matter was still active in court and that court matters took long to be disposed of.

He said in a statement that the government has decided to engage Vedanta to resolve outstanding issues instead of waiting for the court processes to finish.

Vedanta, he said, was still a shareholder in KCM, adding that agreeing to end litigation does not equate to handling the mine back to the Indian mining giant.

According to him, the government has decided to find a solution outside the courts.

There have been increased speculations in the local media that the government has handed over KCM back to the Indian miner.

This follows revelations by President Hakainde Hichilema that the government has agreed to end legal actions against Vedanta.

The Zambian president said on the sidelines of a mining conference in South Africa on Monday that any solutions to the problems that have engulfed KCM must include Vedanta which was still a shareholder.

The previous government placed KCM under provisional liquidation in 2019 after allegations that the company had lied about expansion plans and paid too little tax. KCM denied any wrongdoing and took the government to court. Enditem

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