The South Gauteng High Court granted Vedanta Resources an urgent interim order blocking minority shareholder Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines. File picture: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

JOHANNESBURG - The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg yesterday granted Vedanta Resources an urgent interim order blocking minority shareholder Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) from liquidating Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). 

The Indian-owned company is fighting the Zambian government’s decision, through ZCCM, to appoint provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu to wind up KCM operations after Lusaka accused Vedanta of breaching the terms of its mining licence. 

Yesterday’s interdict was granted after two days of argument last week, where Vedanta contended that ZCCM had breached and continued to breach the KCM shareholders’ agreement by instituting the proceedings against KCM.

It argued that ZCCM had pushed ahead with the provisional liquidator instead of reverting to the agreed-upon dispute resolution mechanism for shareholder disputes. 

The granting of the interim interdict means that, pending the final outcome of an arbitration process, ZCCM should immediately withdraw its winding-up proceedings and that provisional liquidator Lungu is discharged from office. 

ZCCM was ordered to pay Vedanta’s legal costs for three counsel who applied for the interdict. Vedanta welcomed the ruling by Judge Adams and reiterated its commitment to resolving the dispute via arbitration. 

African News Agency