Vedanta CEO open to dialogue with Zambia

Credit: REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Vedanta says Zambia is misusing corporate law

Provisional liquidator says business continuing as usual

Adds detail, background

JOHANNESBURG, May 27 (Reuters) - Vedanta Resources VDAN.NS is open to dialogue with the Zambian government but will defend its legal rights and opposes the appointment of a provisional liquidator at its Konkola Copper Mines business, the company's CEO said on Monday.

A court hearing involving Vedanta and Zambia over the control of KCM was adjourned on Friday until June 4.

The government is pressing for the liquidation of KCM, which it has accused of breaching its operating licence, in a case that has stoked broader concerns among international miners about a rise in resource nationalism.

"While Vedanta intends to fully defend its legal rights, we remain open to dialogue," CEO Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan said in a statement on Monday.

"We hope to meet with the Zambian government in the near future to discuss a mutually agreeable solution to the current situation as well as the broader challenges faced by KCM."

Vedanta Resources, partial owner of the Mumbai-listed Vedanta group of companies VDAN.NS, is the majority shareholder of KCM.

It says Zambia is misusing corporate law by calling for the winding up of KCM on the basis of fairness and equity rather than on grounds of insolvency.

For now the provisional liquidator, who says business is continuing as usual at KCM, is in charge of day-to-day running of KCM.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis Editing by David Goodman)

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