Hindustan Zinc on Tuesday said the acquisition of Vedanta’s global zinc assets was “approved by the Board of Directors” at the meeting held on January 19, 2023, “on the recommendation of the audit committee”.

The approvals are also subject to receipt of requisite regulatory approvals, including shareholders’ approval, as may be necessary, it added.

Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta subsidiary, will be acquiring zinc mines of the holding company in a cash buyout pegged at nearly $3 billion.

However, the Centre, which is a minority shareholder with over 29 per cent stake in the zinc company, has raised objections to the deal. Representatives of the Centre, particularly from the Ministry of Mines, had objections to the deal citing issues of valuation.

The statement to the bourses said the proposed transaction gives access to combined reserves and resources of over 1,000 million tonnes (mt) of ore and over 65 mt of metal across India and Africa. “The zinc assets have the potential to produce 1 mt of zinc at first quartile of global cost curve and to be the largest zinc producer in Africa,” said the statement.

It was also said despite objections raised by some of the Board members (mostly government representatives), the company went ahead with an announcement to the stock markets.

The Hindustan Zinc board comprises Priya Agarwal Hebbar – Anil Agarwal’s daughter – who is currently the chairman; Arun Misra, the CEO; and Navin Agarwal, apart from the joint secretary levels officers of the Minisrty of Mines — Veena Kumari Dermal and Farida M Naik. It also includes Joint Secretary and Financial Advisor Ministry of Coal and Ministry of Mines, Nirupama Kotru.

Other Board members include Akhilesh Joshi — former CEO of Hindustan Zinc (2012-2015); Anjani K Agrawal and Kannan Ramamirtham.

“We would further like to state that we are not aware of any information which has not been disclosed to the stock exchanges,” it further said in the statement.

As per the outcome of the Board meeting held in January, the India-based zinc miner will purchase or subscribe to equity shares of THL Zinc Ltd, Mauritius, which comprises shares held in Black Mountain Mining Pty Ltd, South Africa (69.6 per cent) and THL Zinc Namibia Holdings (Pty) Ltd (100 per cent), Namibia. Acquisition will be through its wholly-owned subsidiary “for a cash consideration not exceeding $2.98 billion” in a phased manner on the basis of agreed milestones.

The company added that “the proposed transaction is an attractive opportunity for Hindustan Zinc to grow and increase its foothold overseas” and take the brand global.