In response to queries, Vedanta has provided an update in respect of the legal processes currently underway relating to KCM.
Court hearings in Lusaka
The application by Vedanta to join as a party to the winding-up proceedings in respect of KCM was heard in the Zambian High Court in Lusaka .
The judge considered preliminary issues raised ZCCM’s lawyers before hearing the joinder application. Justice A.M. Banda-Bobo reserved her judgment on the preliminary issues until Tuesday 11th June 2019 and is expected to deliver her ruling on those issues on that date and will then proceed to hear the joinder application.
The winding-up proceedings were brought by ZCCM, a minority shareholder in KCM and the representative of the Government of Zambia.
ZCCM has chosen a route which seeks to exclude Vedanta, by having a Provisional Liquidator appointed ex-parte.
Vedanta’s application was to allow the company to appear and make representations at any hearing in the winding-up proceedings, including in relation to the appointment of the Provisional Liquidator and the hearing of the winding-up petition.
A date has not yet been set for the hearing in relation to the confirmation of the appointment of the Provisional Liquidator. Vedanta does not consider that there are just and equitable grounds to wind-up KCM and will defend all attempts to do so.
Appropriate dispute resolution
ZCCM violated this agreement when it chose to initiate court proceedings instead of using this mechanism.
Vedanta launched the dispute resolution process defined by the shareholders agreement by serving ZCCM with notice of a dispute on 30 May 2009. This is intended to allow good faith negotiations to take place.
If the dispute remains outstanding for longer than 30 days, it may then be referred to international arbitration.
The dispute process is separate but parallel the legal proceedings mentioned above. While Vedanta intends to fully defend its legal rights, the company remains open to dialogue.
It believes that the dispute resolution process is the best mechanism for the resolution of this dispute as it will provide expeditious and appropriate outcomes for all parties (including the many thousands of people employed by KCM).