Zambian government nears decision on sale of Mopani Copper Mines originally purchased in 2021.
The Zambian government is poised to conclude the selection process for a new investor to revitalize Mopani Copper Mines, a vital mining asset acquired from Glencore in 2021. After months of negotiations and considerations, the government is on track to make a final decision this month, aligning with President Hakainde Hichilema’s vision of boosting Zambia’s copper production and supporting the clean energy transition.
Mopani Copper Mines – Challenges in complex negotiations
The finding of a new investor for Mopani Copper Mines, initially slated for July, has encountered delays due to intricate negotiations involving both prospective investors and Glencore, to whom Mopani owes a substantial sum. Glencore, though, has chosen to remain tight-lipped about the ongoing sales process, having divested itself of the assets.
ZCCM IH engages Rothschild & Co for guidance
ZCCM IH, a subsidiary of the Zambian government, has enlisted the services of Rothschild & Co to facilitate the Mopani sale. The investment proposals presented for government consideration include South African platinum miner Sibanye Stillwater, an investor affiliated with the United Arab Emirates’ International Holding Company (IHC), and China’s Zijin Mining Group. These proposals signify the impending completion of the selection process, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.
ZCCM’s acquisition and presidential vision
ZCCM acquired Mopani from Glencore through a USD 1.5 billion deal financed by debt. President Hakainde Hichilema’s vision for Zambia’s future emphasizes attracting new investors to bolster the nation’s status as Africa’s second-largest copper producer. The ultimate goal is to triple copper output, furthering the clean energy transition and the growth of battery electric vehicles.
This move underscores the Zambian government’s determination to secure a promising future for Mopani Copper Mines, a pivotal asset in the nation’s economic landscape. As negotiations near their conclusion, the selected investor will play a crucial role in shaping Zambia’s trajectory towards clean energy and sustained growth in the copper industry.
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