Picture: Reuters.

JOHANNESBURG  - UK-based Vedanta Resources said on Monday it was opposing the liquidation of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) operations in Zambia.

ZCCM Investments Holdings, a state-owned entity with a 20.1 percent shareholding in KCM, last week obtained an order from the High Court of Zambia to wind up the mining company and appoint a provisional liquidator. 

On Friday, the court appointed Milingo Lungu as provisional liquidator and he is now in charge of day to day running of the company. Lungu has said business will continue as usual.

Vedanta chief executive Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said the company was concerned about what the appointment of a provisional liquidator meant for the people in Zambia, their communities and the future of the business.

Vedanta said the ZCCM petition called for the winding up of KCM on the basis of fairness and equity rather than on grounds on insolvency, a misuse of Zambia’s corporate law given that the parties had agreed a specific dispute mechanism in the shareholders’ agreement.

"While Vedanta intends to fully defend its legal rights, we remain open to dialogue. We hope to meet with the Zambian government in the near future to discuss a mutually agreeable solution to the current situation as well as the broader challenges faced by KCM,"  Venkatakrishnan said. 

"The sooner we resolve the uncertainty around the business, the sooner we can return it to a sustainable footing."

Vendata, which also has mining operations in Australia and India, has invested $3 billion in Zambia since 2004.

- African News Agency (ANA)