Publication Date



This case was initiated in the court of first instance, the England and Wales Technology and Construction Court (hereinafter referred to as the UK High Court Division) on 31 July 2015, by 1, 826 Zambian citizens who are resident in Chingola, Zambia. The claimants sought damages for personal injury, wide ranging environmental harm, damage to property, loss of income and amenity and enjoyment of land arising out of alleged pollution and environmental damage caused by the second appellant, Konkola Copper Mines (hereinafter referred to as ‘KCM’) at its Nchanga copper mine from about 2005 to date.

The first appellant, Vedanta Resources Plc (hereinafter referred to as ‘Vedanta’) is the holding company for a large multinational group of base metal and mining companies, including KCM, the second appellant, which is a public limited company incorporated in Zambia. KCM owns and operates Nchanga mine in Chingola, Zambia. In effect, these proceedings were brought against Vedanta, a UK incorporated parent company, and KCM, its Zambian subsidiary. The claims against both appellants were founded in negligence and breaches of applicable Zambian environmental laws. In 2016, the UK High Court Division held that the claimants could pursue their case before the English courts, despite the fact that the alleged tort and harm occurred in Zambia, where both the claimants and the second appellant, KCM were domiciled. This decision was later upheld by the UK Court of Appeal in October 2017, after the appellants’ appeal. Being dissatisfied with the decision of the UK Court of Appeal, the two appellants launched their final appeal to the UK Supreme Court.