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Zambia’s Minister of Mines Announces Glencore’s Exit from Mopani Copper Mines

Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, Paul Kabuswe, has declared Glencore’s complete disengagement from Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), marking a pivotal shift in the ownership and management of the renowned mining complex.

According to Mr. Kabuswe, Glencore, the Swiss mining and commodity trading giant, has severed its ties with Mopani following the resolution of a substantial debt issue by International Resources Holdings (IRH).

Initially owed a staggering sum of US$1.7 billion, Glencore successfully negotiated with the government, resulting in a significant reduction of the debt to US$400 million.

This negotiation served as the catalyst for Glencore’s withdrawal from Mopani, signifying a turning point in the ownership structure and operational management of the mining complex and smelter located in Mufulira and Kitwe.

Glencore’s involvement with Mopani underwent a transformation in 2021 when it divested its stake to the state-mining investment firm, ZCCM-IH, facilitated by a deal financed by a US$1.5 billion debt from Glencore’s subsidiary, Carlisa Investments Corporation.

Despite this transfer of ownership, Glencore retained the exclusive right to sell Mopani’s production, maintaining a significant presence in the operation.

However, the emergence of International Resources Holdings (IRH) as a new investor has heralded a profound shift in Mopani’s operational landscape. With IRH stepping in, the dynamics of the mining complex are set to undergo a notable transformation.

Minister Kabuswe highlighted, “As part of the settlement, the government ensured that Glencore received its dues in cash during the transition period.” This payment effectively concludes Glencore’s involvement with Mopani, clearing the path for new leadership and direction under IRH.

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

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