Vedanta Secures $250 Million to Settle Konkola Copper Mines Debts and Revive Operations

Vedanta Secures $250 Million to Settle Konkola Copper Mines Debts and Revive Operations

Vedanta Resources Ltd has secured $250 million to pay creditors of Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia and is taking steps to revive operations after regaining control of the assets.

Bollywood Fever: Vedanta Resources Ltd announced on Friday that it has secured the necessary financing to start paying creditors of its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in Zambia. This move is part of a broader strategy to revive operations after the company regained control of the assets. The mining giant, owned by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, confirmed it would have approximately $250 million ready to pay small creditors in Zambia by around July 8.

Vedanta Secures $250 Million to Settle Konkola Copper Mines Debts and Revive Operations

This settlement is part of an agreement with Zambian authorities, following Vedanta’s successful effort to reclaim the copper mines and smelter. The company had been in a prolonged five-year battle to regain these assets, which were seized by the previous Zambian administration under former president Edgar Lungu, who accused Vedanta of insufficient investment in expanding copper production.

In addition to settling debts, Vedanta has announced a 20% salary increase and a one-time payment of 2,500 Zambian Kwacha (about $102) for KCM workers. However, the company acknowledges that it still needs to raise an additional $1 billion to fully revive the mining operations and advance the Konkola Deep Mining Project, known for containing some of the world’s richest copper deposits.

A Vedanta spokesperson told Reuters that the company is committed to exploring various funding options, including taking on debt or selling a stake in the copper assets. Previously, talks to sell a stake in KCM to the United Arab Emirates’ International Resources Holding (IRH) fell through due to disagreements over asset valuation.

Vedanta, which owns 80% of KCM, has indicated it might sell up to 30% of its holding to raise the necessary capital for boosting copper output. The remaining 20% of KCM is owned by the Zambian government through the state firm ZCCM-IH.

This strategic financing arrangement and investment plans signal Vedanta’s commitment to revitalizing KCM and enhancing its copper production capabilities, aiming to capitalize on the valuable resources at the Konkola Deep Mining Project.

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Nicholas Edwards

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