Poland's KGHM has talks with Canadian rival over permit dispute

Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:11am EST
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WARSAW Dec 17 (Reuters) - Europe's second largest copper producer KGHM has held talks with Canadian-owned rival Miedzi Copper about two disputed Polish concessions which are the subject of a legal battle, KGHM said on Wednesday.

Miedzi Copper filed a case in a Polish court against the government after two copper permits it had been awarded were withdrawn by the government following a challenge from KGHM, which itself wanted to develop the concessions.

"KGHM management met with Miedzi Copper management," KGHM spokesman Dariusz Wyborski said. "We're aiming at a solution that's best for us, Miedzi Copper and the region."

He said further geological studies on the concessions would be carried out "to accurately reflect on the possibilities sketched out at the meeting." He did not elaborate.

Miedzi Copper declined to comment.

KGHM, part state owned and the only miner producing copper in Poland, has previously said it challenged the award of the permits to Miedzi copper because it had spent time and money researching the permits, adjacent to areas it is already mining.

The government said the permits were withdrawn because of shortcomings in the way the bidding process was administered.

The rows over concessions could rattle foreign investors at a time when Poland's resource sector, struggling with low prices, needs investment.

In a separate dispute, British firm Darley Energy is challenging the government's decision to allocate to KGHM a potash mining concession.   Continued...