SMM News: according to foreign news on May 20, Zambia's general Edgar Lungu said on Monday that the government has issued a notice to receive Vedanta copper assets in the country.
The move marks a further escalation of tensions between the Zambian government and mining companies.
On Friday, Edgar Lungu threatened to "divorce" Vedanta Resources and Glencore's domestic copper business.
Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, had raised royalties and planned to replace the current VAT with a non-refundable sales tax.
Vedanta Resources and Glencore are currently the largest employers in Zambia.
Last week Richard Musukwa, the country's mining minister, said the government had instructed Glencore's Mopani mine to hand over two mines to local contractors rather than shutting them down.
Last week Mopani announced plans to close two mines and lay off hundreds of workers. Such divisions could weaken Zambia's local currency, Kwacha, which has fallen 14.7 per cent against the dollar this year, already the second worst performing currency in the world.
The Zambian government has for years suppressed accusations that mining companies did not pay their taxes in full. The country's tax system has changed 10 times in the past 16 years. The country is facing problems such as soaring external debt, falling foreign exchange reserves to their lowest level in a decade and a sharp devaluation of its currency.