Vedanta Resources to Invest $280 Million at Copper Mines in Zambia
Vedanta Resources Plc is gearing up to spend $280 million at its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) unit in Zambia, a move that will increase production output by more than a third by 2017.
“We have reinvested all of our earnings back into the company. This has supported the creation of 5 000 new construction jobs and in the meantime, salaries at KCM have more than doubled in real terms,” said Vedanta CEO Tom Albanese.
The Konkola mine has made $2.3 billion of capital investments in the past nine years while paying $73 million in dividends. The flagship project provides access to one of the largest high-grade ore-bodies in the world.
The company, which is owned by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, also agreed to pay $111 million in debt settlement at the Konkola site, as well as provie a $400 million bank guarantee.
The $280 million investment by Vedanta comes as a bit of a shock. The company and Zambia, Africa’s second-largest copper producer, have a history of bad blood. The situation worsened last month when Agarwal was caught on camera discussing the low price he paid for Konkola and the profit it makes.
Zambia, which once revoked ex-Konkola CEO kishore Kumar’s work permit, is reportedly in the process of revising its mining laws, which could lead to significant future impact on the mining company.
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