Vedanta says it has arranged $250m to settle Zambian copper mine debts

Vedanta Resources said on Friday it has arranged the financing it…

Vedanta Resources said on Friday it has arranged the financing it needs to start paying creditors of its Konkola Copper Mines in Zambia as it takes steps to revive operations after regaining control of the assets.

The miner owned by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal will have around the $250 million it needs to pay small creditors in Zambia on or around July 8, it said in a statement

Vedanta needs to settle debts owed by KCM as part of a deal reached with Zambian authorities after it regained control of the copper mines and smelter.

The company regained control of KCM late last year after a five-year battle to recover the copper mines and smelter that were seized by the administration of former Zambian president Edgar Lungu which accused the company of failing to invest to expand copper production.

Vedanta said it would also grant KCM workers a 20% salary increase and once-off payment of 2,500 Zambian Kwacha (about $102).

Vedanta will still need to raise an additional $1-billion revive the mining operations and invest in advancing particularly the Konkola Deep Mining Project, which holds one of the richest copper deposits in the world.

A Vedanta spokesperson told Reuters on Wednesday the company was committed to exploring all funding options, including via debt or selling a stake in the copper assets.

Talks to sell a stake in KCM to the United Arab Emirates’ International Resources Holding (IRH) collapsed after the parties failed to agree on the assets’ value.

Vedanta owns 80% of KCM and has said it may sell a 30% of its holding to raise capital to invest in boosting copper output. The Zambian government owns 20% of KCM through state firm ZCCM-IH .

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