ZAMBIAN BUSINESSES CHALLNGED TO BUY INTO KCM SHOULD VEDANTA DECIDE TO SELL A MINORITY OF ITS EQUITY
By Michael Kaluba
The Independent Centre for Copperbelt Studies Think Tank Director Owen Sichone has challenged the Zambian government and the private sector to explore buying shares in Konkola Copper Mines-KCM if Vedanta considers selling a minority holding in the company.
According to reports in the Indian Publication Economic Times, Vedanta Base Metals Chief Executive Officer Chris Griffith has hinted at talks with various financing partners to raise money for a KCM restart, including the sale of a minority stake of its 80 percent stake in the mine to raise $1.3 billion.
Professor Sichone believes that if Vedanta lists some of its shares, the Zambian government and private entities should buy into the company to acquire more influence over the mine, which accounts for a significant portion of Zambia’s economy.
The academician is concerned that, while KCM is critical to Zambia’s economy, it may not be a priority for Vedanta, which has several base metal businesses around the world for which the corporation is soliciting funds, even though the country desperately needs the mine to be operational.
He has reminded Zambia to examine its relationship with its mining investors by assuring equity in partnership, claiming that Vedanta and ZCCM-IH’s 80-20 stake at KCM implies that the investor has control.