By CHINTU MALAMBO
ONLY US$58 million total dividends have been declared by Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) in 15 years of its operation and the mining firm still owes US$10 million.
This was among the reasons given by ZCCM Investiment holding which has placed KCM under liquidation and Lusaka Lawyers Milingo Lungu is the appointed provisional liquidator of the mining company.
In the winding up petition filed by ZCCM-IH in the Lusaka High court yesterday, the petitioner claimed that KCM was being managed in a manner detrimental to its interests and had failed to carry out mining operations in accordance with approved mining plan.
ZCCM-IH stated that since the company commenced operations in 2004, it had only declared total dividends of US$58 million and had refused, to pay the US$10 million declared earlier despite the money being accounted for in financial statements.
ZCCM-IH also stated that KCM had failed to develop the mining areas in Chingola and Chililabombwe and was carrying out mining operations in breach of Section 35(1) (b) of the Mines and Minerals Development Act 2015.
It claimed that KCM was also engaged in massive tax evasion through transfer mis-pricing and other unscrupulous means.
“Since Vedanta took over the control management and administration of the company, it has failed to manage the company in the interest of all shareholders,” read the petition.
The petitioner also claimed that KCM’s operations were not environmentally friendly and had polluted water sources around the mining area, including the Kafue River.
ZCCM further said that KCM was insolvent and had failed to pay outstanding invoices to suppliers and contractors when they fall due.
In this matter, ZCCM had asked the Lusaka High Court to grant it an order to appoint Mr Lungu as provisional Liquidator of KCM and High Court judge Banda Bobo signed the order.
It therefore, prayed that KCM be wound up by the court under the provisions of Section 57(g) of the corporate Insolvency Act No. 9 of 2017 of the laws of Zambia.
Further that a provisional liquidator be appointed pending determination of the winding up petition, costs and any other reliefs that the court may deem fit.
And according to an ex-parte order appointing provisional liquidator , Mr Lungu will sale the real and personal property and things in action of KCM by public auction, tender or private contract.
Mr Lungu will also carry on the business of KCM so far as it is necessary for the benefit of winding up.
He has also been given power to make any compromise or arrangements with the creditors.