Anil Agarwal talks of moving Konkola Copper Mines to Vedanta Ltd at 'right valuation'
The Zambian government, which owns a 20 per cent stake in KCM, will allow Vedanta to resume control and operate KCM's mines and smelter after the company renewed a pledge to invest more than USD 1.2 billion to increase output and repay outstanding debts.
Mining baron Anil Agarwal on Tuesday said the Konkola Copper Mines, which returned to his London-based firm Vedanta Resources last week, can be moved to the group's India-listed firm Vedanta Ltd "at the right valuation".Last week, Zambia agreed to return control of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) to Vedanta Resources, which is the parent firm of Mumbai-listed Vedanta Ltd. The Zambian government, which owns a 20 per cent stake in KCM, will allow Vedanta to resume control and operate KCM's mines and smelter after the company renewed a pledge to invest more than USD 1.2 billion to increase output and repay outstanding debts.
"Going forward, my thought is that we must maximize synergies between KCM and Vedanta Ltd's refining/smelter businesses in UAE & India," Agarwal said in a post on X. "KCM can be moved from Vedanta Resources to Vedanta Ltd at the right valuation. He said the return of KCM to Vedanta Resources comes at a perfect time."It has one the largest reserves of copper and cobalt in the world, both important in energy transition," he said. Copper is a key metal for the world's decarbonization. Demand is growing rapidly. In India, growth is over 20 per cent annually, he said.
Vedanta, he said, acquired KCM in 2004 and made good profits when global copper prices were only USD 4,000. Now, global copper prices are around USD 8,500 and technologies are much superior so profitability will be much higher."We can create a fully integrated copper vertical and eventually, a successful global copper company, like Chile's Codelco and Mexico's Southern Copper. We have other big projects coming up in the copper blocks that we have won in auctions and smelters in international geographies," he said.
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Agarwal, who is the chairman of Vedanta Resources Ltd, said with KCM and Sterlite Copper coming together, "we will have a vertically integrated copper business that will create positive synergy not just for the two businesses but also for India's growth."Copper is a critical mineral for India's energy transition. Thousands of MSMEs will come up, creating jobs and revenue," he added.