Three companies have asked the Lusaka High Court to order Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited to pay security costs of US $1 million, stating that they may encounter difficulties in enforcing any order for costs that may be made in their favour as Vedanta is resident outside Zambia.
Rephidim Mining and Technical Suppliers Limited, Mimbula Minerals Limited and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc have stated that, as a company incorporated outside Zambia, Vedanta had no assets premised in Zambia to their knowledge that they may pursue in case the court awards them costs.
In this matter, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) board and Vedanta Resources Holdings Limited have sued Milingo Lungu in his capacity as KCM Provisional Liquidator; Rephidim Mining and Technical Suppliers Limited; Mimbula Minerals Limited and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc, seeking, among other claims, an injunction restraining Milingo, whether by himself or his agents, from taking any action to effect or perfect the sale of Lot 694/M to the other defendants.
Recently, Mimbula Minerals Limited and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc asked the Lusaka High Court to stay the interim injunction granted to the board of KCM and Vendata Resources Holdings Limited, restraining Milingo from selling the mining rights areas.
The two companies argued that they will suffer huge losses as a result of the ex-parte order of interim injunction that was granted in favour of the KCM board and Vedanta, which put a halt to its intended operations despite there currently being no competent cause of action against them.
And in an affidavit in support of summons for an order for security for costs filed in the Lusaka High Court commercial registry, December 9, Rephidim Mining, Mimbula Minerals and Moxico Resources Zambia have asked the Court to order Vedanta to pay security for costs in the matter.
They have further asked the Court to order that Vedanta’s action be stayed, pending payment for security for costs.
Moxico Resources Zambia Plc director Davies Mwanamoya explained that on November 28, 2019, KCM and Vedanta commenced an action against the defendants claiming, amongst other things, an order setting aside the consent order dated September 10, 2019, under Appeal No 74/2018 and an order of injunction restraining the three companies whether themselves or their agents from enforcing the consent order in Appeal No. 74/2018, until final determination of the matter.
He added that KCM and Vedanta also asked the Court to restrain the three companies from entering and remaining on Lot No. 694/M/Chingola, Zambia.
Mwanamoya stated that the said consent order was entered into by KCM through the provisional liquidator as the proper owner of the surface rights in respect of lot 694/M Chingola on one hand and Rephidim Mining and Technical Supplies Limited, Mimbula Minerals Limited and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc on the other hand.
He stated that following the commencement of the action, KCM, currently under provisional liquidation, did wholly discontinue all further proceedings in the matter against the defendants on December 3, 2019 .
Mwanamoya further stated that KCM was the previous owner of the surface rights in respect of Lot 694/M, the asset that was sold or disposed off by way of a consent order.
“It is the said sale of the surface rights in respect of Lot 694 /M by KCM to Mimbula Minerals Limited Plc that KCM was challenging under the guise of setting aside the consent order that disposed of the said asset. The defendants have made an application to set aside or dismiss Writ and Statement of claim for being irregular and incompetent, the same was filed into court on December 5, 2019,” he stated.
Mwanamoya stated that following KCM’s discontinuance of the action, the cause of action had wholly fallen off as against the defendants.
He added that the three companies (defendants), through their advocates Messrs Muya and Company, conducted a search on the Court’s record and ascertained that no leave was sought to commence the action by Vedanta.
Mwanamoya stated that Vedanta was a company incorporated and registered outside Zambia and was the majority shareholder in KCM, a company that was undergoing provisional liquidation under cause 019/HP/0761 in the Lusaka High Court Principal Registry due to its inability to pay money due and owing to its creditors.
He stated that to the best of his knowledge, Vedanta had no assets premised in Zambia that the said defendants may pursue in case the Court made an award for costs in favour of them.
“Rephidim Mining and Technical Supplies Limited, Mimbula Minerals Limited and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc may encounter difficulties in enforcing any order for costs that may be made in their favour against Vedanta as it is resident outside Zambia. That the estimated costs for the second, third and fourth defendants are pegged at US $1,000,000.000,” Mwanamoya stated.
Meanwhile, in a notice of withdrawal filed, December 6, Rephidim Mining, Mimbula Minerals and Moxico Resources Zambia Plc have withdrawn an affidavit in support of ex parte summons for an order to stay Vedanta’s action and the ex-parte order of injunction, pending determination of their application to dismiss the action for being irregular and incompetently before court.
The three companies have also withdrawn the affidavit in support of summons for an order to set aside or dismiss the action for being irregular and incompetently before court and the list of authorities and skeleton arguments in support of their application for an order to stay Vedanta’s action and the ex parte order of injunction, pending determination of their application to dismiss the application for being irregular and incompetently before court.