The United Arab Emirates’ International Holding Company subsidiary, International Resources Holding (IRH), has retracted its offer for a majority stake in Vedanta Resources’ copper operations in Zambia, reported Reuters.

The withdrawal follows a breakdown in negotiations over the valuation of the assets.

IRH had proposed to purchase a 51% share in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) for more than $1bn (Dh3.67bn).

This move was aimed at bolstering its copper interests in Zambia, the company having already secured a 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines in March 2024.

A source close to the matter indicated that IRH’s offer valued a 51% interest at approximately $1bn. However, Vedanta was only prepared to part with a 30% stake and at nearly twice the price that IRH had proposed for the larger stake.

IRH was cited by the news agency as saying that it was “not currently pursuing the acquisition of a majority stake in the Zambian assets”.

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“IRH terminated the transaction discussions two months ago due to discrepancies in valuation,” the company added in an emailed statement.

In June 2024, Vedanta Base Metals CEO Chris Griffith revealed that IRH was among the entities performing due diligence on the Zambian assets.

Vedanta owns an 80% stake in KCM while the remaining stake is held by the Zambian Government via ZCCM-IH.

Vedanta’s control over KCM was recently reinstated after a protracted legal dispute with the Zambian Government, which had previously accused the company of inadequate investment in copper production expansion.

The company is now seeking to offload a portion of its Zambian copper mines to generate around $1.2bn.

These funds are necessary to rejuvenate operations, settle debts and invest in the Konkola Deep Mining Project.

A spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying via email: “Vedanta remains committed to exploring all funding options – both debt and equity – which are aligned with what we believe is in the best interests of KCM.”