Bright Mutambo, of Konkola Copper Mines PLC, works in Nchanga mine in Cingola, Zambia.

Zambian court appoints provisional liquidator of Vedanta's Konkola Copper Mines

LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia's High Court on Tuesday appointed a legal firm as a provisional liquidator of Vedanta-controlled Konkola Copper Mines, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

The document named Zambian law firm Lungu Simwanza & Company to oversee KCM a day after the president said Zambia planned to strip the company of its mining licence and bring in a new investor.

According to the court document, the firm is appointed to act "as provisional liquidator" until the conclusion of the hearing of a petition, brought by Zambia's mining investment arm ZCCM-IH under Zambia's corporate insolvency act, or a further order.

KCM's parent Vedanta had no immediate comment.

Presidential spokesman Amos Chanda told Reuters on Monday the government had to intervene "because KCM is too big to fail".

"The government is actively in talks with potentially private investors for KCM," he added. "There will be no takeover. No seizure of private assets."

International miners have warned Zambia will deter foreign investment at a time when it is in great need of finances to pay off high levels of debt.

Zambia, Africa's second-biggest copper producer, has proposed tax changes that President Edgar Lungu says he will push through, despite opposition from international miners.

(Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka and Barbara Lewis in Johannesburg; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Evans)

2019-05-21 13:03:06

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