Zambia’s mining sector reached a pivotal milestone as Honourable Paul C Kabuswe MP, leading the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, disclosed the selection of a strategic equity partner for Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) PLC.
This crucial decision was disclosed in a media briefing convened on Friday at 08:00 hours, signifying a significant development in the country’s mining landscape.
The Ministry revealed that the strategic review of Mopani Copper Mines, initiated by the Board of Directors of ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC in collaboration with Rothschild and Company of South Africa, aimed to ensure the sustainability and continued development of MCM.
This review identified two key initiatives: addressing MCM’s immediate liquidity requirements and securing a new strategic equity partner for the long-term sustainable funding solution.
After an extensive and thorough selection process, the ZCCM Investments Holdings PLC board, in coordination with the Zambian government, has chosen International Resources Holding Limited (IRH) as the preferred strategic equity partner for Mopani Copper Mines. IRH is an affiliate company of the Abu Dhabi conglomerate International Holding Company.
Subject to the finalization of definitive transaction documents, IRH will inject funds into MCM to stabilize short-term working capital requirements, complete mine development projects, and unlock the long-term potential of MCM.
Additionally, this partnership will lead to the restructuring of MCM’s balance sheet and reset its existing relationship with Glencore.
The capital investment from IRH, combined with the industry experience of IRH and MCM management teams, is expected to enable MCM to achieve its long-term potential, increase copper production to at least 200,000 tonnes per annum, promote increased industrialization on the Copperbelt, and stabilize employment and local supply chains.
The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, Honourable Paul C Kabuswe MP, highlighted the commitment of the Zambian government and IRH to ensure MCM delivers optimal production levels, becoming a leading Zambian producer of copper and contributing to the government’s target of 3 million tonnes of copper production per annum by 2031.
The conclusion of the transaction is subject to the entry into definitive transaction documents and various conditions precedent commensurate with a transaction of this nature. The government, through ZCCM-IH, will provide further details once all definitive transaction documents have been finalized.
Honourable Kabuswe extended gratitude to President Hakainde Hichilema for providing leadership on this matter and thanked the people of Zambia for their patience as the government diligently pursued the resuscitation of Mopani Copper Mines.
This strategic equity partnership marks a pivotal moment for Zambia’s mining industry and is poised to contribute significantly to the nation’s economic growth and industrial development.