Operations halted at KCM’s disputed copper smelter, Vedanta denied access

Operations at the Nchanga copper smelter, the largest in Zambia by capacity, have been completely suspended during a dispute between the country’s government and Indian company Vedanta, the majority owner of smelter operator Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), local media reported on Tuesday June 11.

Zambian news provider The Independent Observer reported that the license key for the software that controls the smelter’s computerised systems had “disappeared”, leading to a complete stoppage of the smelter. The Nchanga smelter has capacity for 311,000 tonnes per year and is a core asset of KCM, but it was seized by liquidators after the Zambian government filed a liquidation order on May 21 with the intention of forcing India-based Vedanta out of the African country, a source with direct knowledge of the matter confirmed to Fastmarkets. The apparent takeover, the first of its kind, has sent shockwaves through the Zambian copper industry. When Fastmarkets approached a Vedanta spokesperson for comment about the situation at Nchanga, our questions were directed to Milingo Lungu, a lawyer appointed to act...

Published

Julian Luk

June 11, 2019

18:32 GMT

London