Vedanta Resources has challenged Zambia's appointment of a new Provisional Liquidator for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) following the resignation of the previous office holder.
Zambia's previous government put KCM into the hands of liquidator Milingo Lungu in May 2019, triggering an ongoing legal dispute with Vedanta Resources, KCM's parent company. read more
The government accused Vedanta of failing to honour licence conditions, including promised investment. Vedanta has repeatedly denied KCM broke the terms of its licence.
By a consent agreement dated March 15, 2022, between the Official Receiver and the then liquidator Lungu, Lungu resigned as the Provisional Liquidator of KCM on March 17, 2022.
In a letter dated April 10, 2022 to Lungu, the Official Receiver stated that following the agreement with him, she was replacing him with another liquidator.
On May 9, 2022, KCM's acting CEO Enock Mponda announced that Celine Nair was the new Provisional Liquidator following her appointment as Official Receiver.
However, Vedanta said in a court application filed in the Lusaka High Court on Tuesday that only the court has the power to appoint a Provisional Liquidator for the mining company.
"It is contended that the Official Receiver acted ultra vires section 65 of the Corporate Insolvency Act as the said provision does not authorise the Official Receiver to appoint or replace a Provisional Liquidator who was appointed by a court," it says.
Vedanta said in the court papers that the decision of the Official Receiver to appoint herself as Provisional Liquidator should be set aside because it is illegal.The Official Receiver could not immediately be contacted for comment on Wednesday.