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Court set to hear case on winding up Vedanta's Zambian business June 20

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies past Vedanta's logo on its headquarters in Mumbai, India, January 31, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/File Photo

LUSAKA (Reuters) - A Lusaka court said on Tuesday a hearing had been provisionally set for June 20 to consider an application by Vedanta Resources to be represented by its own lawyers in proceedings to wind up its Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) business in Zambia, lawyers said.

Vedanta Resources is challenging the appointment of a provisional liquidator without being given the chance to be heard through lawyers of its choice.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday the court would confirm on June 17 whether it would go ahead with a hearing on Vedanta’s application on June 20.

According to a notice filed in court on June 6, Vedanta wants to be represented by lawyers Nchito & Nchito and not those appointed by the provisional liquidator.

Vedanta Resources, part-owner of the Mumbai-listed Vedanta group of companies, is KCM’s majority shareholder, while Zambian state mining company ZCCM-IH holds a stake of about 20%.

“Vedanta does not consider that there are just and equitable grounds to wind up KCM and will defend all attempts to do so,” Vedanta said.

Zambia’s decision to name a provisional liquidator to run KCM, one of the country’s biggest employers, has unnerved international miners concerned about rising resource nationalism in Zambia and neighbouring countries.

The Zambian government says KCM has breached the terms of its licence.

Reporting by Chris Mfula in Lusaka; Writing by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Tom Hogue and Edmund Blair