On 21 May 2019 it came to our attention that Zambian state-owned company, ZCCM-IH (ZCCM) had obtained an ex parte order for the appointment of a provisional liquidator (PL) as a first step to the winding up of KCM.
ZCCM filed an amended Winding Up Petition asserting that in addition to KCM being wound up on a ‘just and equitable’ basis, KCM should be wound up as it has failed to pay its debts as they fall due.
Vedanta Resources Limited (VRL) filed a Notice of Intention to be heard as an interested party at the hearing of the Winding-Up Petition.
Vedanta obtained an ex parte order in the High Court of South Africa granting it leave to institute an urgent interim interdict application (the Urgent Application) out of the South African High Court in Johannesburg against ZCCM and Mr Milingo Lungu in his capacity as provisional liquidator of KCM.
23 July 2019
The South African High Court in the case of Vedanta Resources Holding Limited v ZCCM Investment Holdings Plc and Lungu, Milingo granted an anti-suit injunction in support of the arbitration agreement in the KCM Shareholder Agreement and blocked the winding up of KCM. The judge found that the grounds on which the ZCCM had applied for the provisional liquidation such as alleged mismanagement, failure to pay dividends and others, all had a sufficient nexus to the KCM Shareholders Agreement and fell under the arbitration agreement.
31 July 2019
In response to the domestic litigation, Vedanta Resources Limited instituted international arbitration proceedings against ZCCM-IH. It is also defending the winding up petition in Zambia. At this juncture the aim is to regain operational and management control of KCM.
7 August 2019
Justice Banda-Bobo of the Lusaka High Court refused Vedanta’s application for a stay of winding up proceedings against Konkola Copper Mines.
23 August 2019
Justice LR Adams of the Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg, of the High Court of South Africa denied ZCCM leave to appeal his judgement of 23 July 2019, dismissing ZCCM’s application with costs. The Johannesburg Court is recognised as a Court in the context of the International Arbitration Act.
28 Oct 2019
Vedanta Resources confirms that the arbitration process related to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is ongoing. Arbitration is a confidential process and Vedanta has been advised that it is not permitted to say anything further about that process.
28 November 2019
Lusaka High Court granted the Board of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Vedanta Resources Holdings Ltd (Vedanta) an injunction order preventing the sale of KCM Mining Right areas by the KCM Provisional Liquidator – Mr Milingo Lungu.
20 November 2020
Court of Appeal rules in favour of Vedanta.
Rumours in country that the Provisional Liquidator is intending to split the business into two separate units and is considering divesting one or both of these units. Vedanta issued a statement noting that any such action would be in violation of the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling in its judgment dated 20 November 2020
18 January 2021
Vedanta file for temporary injunction to be placed on the Provisional Liquidator to try to stop the split and sale of KCM
21 January 2021
After further rumours in country regarding the splitting and sale of KCM business units, Vedanta notes that any plan by the Provisional Liquidator to split the KCM business into two units before ultimately selling those units independently would result in a substantial loss in revenue for the Zambian state and its people, as well as the long-term erosion of the individual assets’ value.
1 February 2021
Ruling in the Zambian High Court has not upheld the temporary injunction placed upon the Provisional Liquidator on 18 January 2021
17 February 2021
Vedanta issues a roadmap of recovery for KCM and reiterates promise of an investment up to USD $1.5 billion
2 March 2021
Vedanta issues press statement urging Mine Workers Union of Zambia and National Union of Miners and Allied Workers to open a constructive dialogue with Vedanta and all parties to the benefit of all KCM stakeholders, including KCM employees and the Copperbelt community
14 April 2021
A large group of employees of KCM contractors began a protest outside the mines headquarters. The reason for the protest was to improve working conditions and pay, stating that KCM had defaulted on a number of payments
Additionally, workers disclosed to Zambian Watchdog that the liquidation and splitting of KCM was not in the best interest of Zambian people