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ZCCM-IH TARGETS TO GET MOPANI MINE INVESTOR

ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata says the Investment Holdings has targeted to find a new investor for Mopani Copper Mines by the end of this year.

Mr Chipata told Reuters that the target for getting the Mopani investor was feasible.

“We expect a strategic equity partner will be identified before the end of 2021,” the Industrial Development Corporation, a key ZCCM-IH partner told Reuters.

On Tuesday, ZCCM-IH agreed to buy Glencore’s majority stake in Mopani mine, taking over a US$1.5 billion debt.

Mopani was once central to Glencore’s plans to turn around its African copper business that has been dogged by problems in recent years.

The company spent billions of dollars to sink new shafts, but the asset has struggled to turn a profit.

Still, once fully operational, the mines should produce about 140,000 tonnes of copper a year, compared with just 51,000 tonnes in 2019.

Glencore shelved its plans to place the operations under care and maintenance last year after Zambia threatened to revoke its mining license in April.

The government’s strategy is driven by a need to safeguard jobs at the site.

Mines Minister Richard Musukwa said Tuesday that the plans to shutter the mine would have led to 15,000 workers being laid off.

President Edgar Lungu will be hoping that by stepping in to take ownership, he’ll win support from labor unions and workers ahead of elections later this year

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