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Zambia court reverses copper giant asset sale ban


LUSAKA, Zambia, Jun 28 – A Zambian court on Friday reversed its order banning the provisional liquidator of the country’s largest copper mining firm, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), from selling any of the mine’s assets.

KCM has been at the centre of a standoff between majority owner, London-based Vedanta Resources, and Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who has pledged to dissolve the firm.

“The order to stay some of the powers of the provisional liquidator dated 26 June 2019… is vacated,” read the high court ruling, reversing its decision made on Wednesday.

The president has accused KCM – in which the state-owned ZCCM-IH is a minority shareholder – of violating its operational licence and not paying all its taxes, charges that Vedanta denies.

At the government’s urging, the high court last month appointed a provisional liquidator to dissolve the company.

Lungu has targeted the mining sector to generate tax revenue as Zambia struggles with growing debt, and has told international mining companies to leave the copper-rich country if they opposed the policy.

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