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Zambia Agrees to Return Control of Konkola Copper Mines to Vedanta Resources

This was announced by mines minister Paul Kabuswe on Tuesday, ending a row over the ownership of the assets that erupted in 2019 when authorities seized the mines. The government, which owns a 20% stake in KCM through ZCCM-IH, will allow Vedanta to resume control and operate KCM’s mines and smelter after the company renewed a pledge to invest more than $1.2 billion to increase output and repay outstanding debts, Kabuswe said. A shareholders’ agreement is being reworked to make the commitments from both shareholders legally binding, Kabuswe added. The legal details of the agreement and reinstatement of the KCM board, would be finalised within the next three months, the minister said. Ties between Zambia and Vedanta, owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, soured after former President Edgar Lungu’s government orchestrated the seizure of the KCM assets and forced liquidation in May 2019, accusing the Indian company of failing to meet plans to invest in increasing mining output.