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A Copper Mining Lesson From Zambia: History Repeats Itself

  • Country previously nationalized copper mines under Kaunda
  • Eunomix estimates $45 billion lost in income over 40 years
Mining For Copper At Konkola Copper Mines Plc's Nchanga Mine
Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg
Updated on

Vedanta Resources Ltd. is learning the hard way that when it comes to Zambia’s copper-mining industry, history tends to repeat itself.

Fifty years ago, Zambia’s first post-independence leader Kenneth Kaunda nationalized mines owned by Anglo American Plc and Roan Selection Trust to rally his political supporters. Now populist President Edgar Lungu is taking legal steps to take over the operations of Vedanta’s Konkola Copper Mines, alleging the unit lied about expansion plans and cheated on taxes.