Vedanta Resources has secured approval from a Zambian court to take back control of the Konkola copper project in Chililabombwe, about 26km north of Chingola, reported Bloomberg News.

The court ruling, delivered in Lusaka, sanctions a plan to settle the debts owed to the mine’s creditors, paving the way for Vedanta to reclaim the asset.

This decision comes after Vedanta’s efforts to regain the major copper asset since 2019.

The previous Zambian government had placed Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) into provisional liquidation, alleging misrepresentation of expansion plans and insufficient tax payments by Vedanta.

To regain access to the mine, Vedanta is required to adhere to the court’s directive by disbursing $250m ($197.22m) to clear KCM’s outstanding debts to contractors and suppliers.

Vedanta expressed readiness to start making the payments and has also pledged to invest $1bn over the next five years to carry out expansion at the mine.

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Despite the potential to produce more than 300,000 tonnes (t) of copper annually, Konkola’s output plummeted to less than 40,000t in 2023, even as copper prices soared to record highs.

One of the critical initiatives to revitalise the mine is the Konkola Deep Mining Project (KDMP). This project aims to enhance copper ore production by tapping into the rich ore body beneath the existing operational areas.

Last week, Reuters reported that Vedanta was in discussions with investors including International Resources Holding for a stake sale in its Zambian copper mines.

The company is looking to offload  “a little bit more than just up to 30%” and is open to negotiation, a Vedanta senior executive said.