Lusaka — Zambian President Edgar Lungu has threatened to “divorce” the domestic copper units of Vedanta Resources and Glencore after the companies said they would curb operations in the southern African nation. The threat marks an escalation in tension between the mining industry in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer and the state, after an increase in royalties and plans to introduce new taxes. Last week, mines minister Richard Musukwa said the government directed Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mines to hand over two shafts to local contractors rather than close them. Zambia’s kwacha extended its losses against the dollar to as much as 3.2% to the lowest level since 2015, and was down 2.3% at 13.91 per dollar on Friday in Lusaka. Yields on the country’s $1bn of Eurobonds due in April 2024 rose 11 basis points to a record 18.25% after Lungu’s statement. Shaft closures rankle Lungu visited Copperbelt province on Friday to meet officials from labour unions and the Chamber of Mines,...

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