Four Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) creditors have applied to be heard in the mining company’s winding-up petition when the matter comes up for hearing.
And ZCCM-Investments Holdings has opposed an application by Vedanta Resources Holding Limited to stay some of the powers of KCM provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu.
This is the matter in which ZCCM-IH has petitioned the Lusaka High Court, seeking an order that KCM be wound up for engaging in tax evasion and being managed in a manner detrimental to its interest, among other allegations.
However, four creditors of KCM who are owed millions of dollars have filed notices of intention to be heard on the petition.
William Nyirenda and Company filed notices of intention to be heard on petition on behalf of Kaltire Limited of Plot number 3628, Natwange Road, Light Industrial area in Kitwe, that is owed US$232,050.69 and Boss Mining SAS of 238, Route Likati, Commune Annexed, Province Haut, Katanga in Congo DRC, a creditor for US$4,665,389.22.
Others are Tri-Pump Mining Limited of plot 5032, Mutentemuko Road, Heavy Industrial area, Kitwe, owed US$24,176.61, South African rand ZAR8,155.61 and K1,671,533.35 and Barloworld of plot number 16920 Mungwi toad, Industrial area that is owed US$2,683,868.30.
Meanwhile, ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata has opposed an application by Vedanta Resources to stay some of Lungu’s powers.
In an affidavit in opposition filed on Friday, Chipata stated that the letter dated June 18, sent to Lungu by Vedanta’s solicitors in England does not express the investor’s concern about various press articles which indicate that Lungu may be moving to sell KCM or its assets to other foreign investors.
“That to the best of my knowledge, no intention to sale the assets of the respondent to foreign investors has been made by the provisional liquidator,” Chipata stated.
He stated that Lungu was under the supervision of the court, adding that the claims by Vedanta were hearsay.
On the other hand, KCM, in its submission opposing Vedanta’s application to stay proceedings pending appeal, stated that the grounds of appeal by the investor had no prospects of success and that there were no good and convincing reasons to stay the proceedings.
“The Contributor ought to demonstrate that they are good and convincing reasons for the order to stay,” KCM stated.
The mining company also stated that Vedanta had argued that since the majority of KCM’s board of directors did not believe that there was a basis for the winding up petition, that in itself raised a critical issue as who should defend the interest of KCM.
It further stated that the record showed that in this case, there was a provisional liquidator appointed by the court and thus, ousting the powers of the board of directors.
“Clearly, there’s no critical or serious issue to be determined on appeal. In any event, the determination of the appeal, specifically as to who can defend the company or stay proceedings and refer the matter to arbitration, will not change or reverse the fact this matter or these proceedings for company winding up, whose jurisdiction to determine the same is exclusive to the court as by law conferred,” it stated.
KCM stated that it therefore follows that no arbitration can oust the jurisdiction of the court to consider and determine company winding up matters or proceedings.
“It further follows that the determination of the appeal will not have the effect of referring the winding up matter to arbitration,” stated KCM.