LUSAKA Feb 8 First Quantum Minerals has
asked a Zambian court to dismiss a $1.4 billion claim by a
state-owned firm, which accused the Canadian company of
irregular transactions with its local subsidiary.
The claim by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment
Holdings (ZCCM-IH), which holds minority stakes in most of the
country's copper mines, includes $228 million in interest on
$2.3 billion of loans that it said First Quantum wrongly
borrowed from the Kansanshi Copper Mine, as well as 20 percent
of the principal amount, or $570 million.
First Quantum said in court papers seen on Wednesday in the
Lusaka high court that the action taken by ZCCM-IH was started
without the approval of the state firm's board, which was
dissolved when the action commenced.
ZCCM-IH, in which the Zambian government has a 77 percent
stake, said in papers filed in the Lusaka High Court on Oct. 28,
2016 that First Quantum used the money as cheap financing for
its other operations.
First Quantum says the loans were at a fair market rate.
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia and David