Vedanta Resources is taking back control of Zambia’s Konkola copper mine, with plans to ramp up output as the demand for copper is expected to surge in the coming years, Bloomberg reported.

Anil Agarwal, founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources

What happened to the Konkola copper mine?

This comes after a Zambian court sanctioned a plan to settle the $250 million debts owed to the mine’s creditors, which Vedanta Resources, billionaire Anil Agarwal’s firm is ready to pay.

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Konkola Copper Mines was put into provisional liquidation in 2019 after the previous Zambian government accused its owner of lying about expansion plans and paying too little tax, according to the report.

What deal did Vedanta make to take control of the Konkola copper mine?

Vedanta and Zambia’s current administration resolved the issue in September, with the company agreeing to spend about $1.3 billion on the mine which can produce over 300,000 tons of copper a year.

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Vedanta also committed to investing $1 billion over five years to complete expansion projects, the report read.

Why does Vedanta see a rising demand for copper in the near future?

This is because copper is used in a lot of applications, from power grids to electric vehicles and in data centers which drive the AI revolution.

Konkola’s plant, which processes both ore extracted at the mine as well as third-party supplies saw output falling to less than 40,000 tons of copper last year.

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Vedanta is targeting output of 250,000 tons in the next few years, with about 40% coming from Konkola’s own ore, the report read.