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Our History 2017-02-28T06:09:03+00:00

Our journey thus far

ZCCM-IH has a rich and varied history spanning more than 50 years before Zambia’s Independence in entities that preceded it but which have helped shape its current form. As the successor company to Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM Ltd), which itself was created from the merger of NCCM and RCM in 1982, ZCCM-IH’s story is the story of Zambia’s Mining Industry and much much more. Below is a summary of this journey.

Rhodesian Anglo American Formed

Ownership of Bwana Mkubwa and Nchanga was amalgamated in Rhokana Corporation

Mufulira begins smelting

Following independence, Zambian government acquired mineral rights of the British South Africa Company

Zambian Government acquired a 51% share in the ownership of the copper industry

Zambian Government took over responsibility for management and sales

ZCCM Ltd formed from the merger of NCCM and RCM

An announcement is made in the budget speech that ZCCM is to be privatised within two years

The merchant bank N. M. Rothschild and the legal firm Clifford Chance are hired to produce a privatisation plan for ZCCM.

The Rothschilds report recommends the unbundling of ZCCM into ten principal sale packages to be privatised through international competitive tender. The Government is to retain a ‘golden share’ – typically 15 per cent – in the successor companies which it has the option to sell to Zambian and other investors at a later date.

ZCCM privatisation plan approved by both the Zambian Government and the ZCCM board.

  • The bidding process closes. Each package attracts at least one bid.
  • A memorandum of understanding is signed between the Government/ZCCM and Anglo American for the exclusive purchase of the extensive Konkola Deep deposit outside of the main bidding process. This deal cements Anglo American’s acceptance of the privatisation process, but the option granted to the company to purchase the smelter from another sale package jeopardises the future of the Mufulira mine.
  • The Kafue Consortium of three leading mining houses (Avmin of South Africa, Noranda of Canada, and Phelps Dodge of the USA) and UK financiers, the Commonwealth Development Corporation, enter into negotiations to purchase the core Nkana/Nchanga asset package.

Appointment by the President of Francis Kaunda to take over ZCCM sale negotiations from Rothschilds and the ZPA negotiating team.

Finalisation of the Nkana/Nchanga sale to the Kafue Consortium appears imminent. In retrospect, the best price for these mines was achieved at this time.

Finalisation of the Nkana/Nchanga sale to the Kafue Consortium appears imminent. In retrospect, the best price for these mines was achieved at this time.

Conclusion of the sale of the Luanshya and Baluba mines to the Binani Group of India.

The Consultative Group meeting with donors to renew balance of payments support is postponed, ostensibly because of governance issues, but also because of the failure to conclude the privatisation of ZCCM.

  • After a year of protracted negotiations, during which time the price for copper has fallen sharply, the final reduced offer of the Kafue Consortium is rejected and the bidding group dissolves.
  • Balance of payment support from the donor community agreed at the Consultative Group meeting is made conditional on significant progress in the privatisation of ZCCM.

Anglo American formulates a rescue plan to repackage the unsold assets of ZCCM.

Over two years after the privatisation was announced, less than 20 per cent of ZCCM’s operating capacity has passed into private ownership.

Anglo American agrees to relinquish its purchase rights over the Mufulira smelter in the event of an agreement being reached allowing it to purchase the other key ZCCM assets as a single package. A prospective buyer is found for the Mufulira mine.

New lending instruments are agreed with the World Bank and IMF as a result of the memorandum of understanding signed between the Government/ZCCM and Anglo American. However, the release of funds is made conditional on conclusion of the deal and transfer of ownership.

Anglo American negotiates the option to purchase all remaining key ZCCM assets. A number of preconditions are set by the company to include the identification of a suitable partner, the securing of finance, and the implementation of a ZCCM redundancy program to be paid for using donor funds.

The original deadline for conclusion of the sale of the remaining key ZCCM assets passes. The preconditions set by Anglo American for the purchase have not been met.

Anglo American revises the basis of the original deal. A new agreement is reached whereby the high cost Nkana mine is excised from the sale, although the South African Company retains its option to run and purchase the Nkana smelter, crucial to its wider operations in Zambia. Anglo American refuses to take over social assets associated with the mines.

While a number of non-operational and smaller ZCCM mines, as well as the Power Division, were privatised relatively early, the eventual sale of the key mine packages at the core of ZCCM to Anglo American (Konkola, Nchanga, Nampundwe and a contract to run Nkana smelter) and First Quantum/Glencore (Nkana Mine and Mufulira) was only concluded at the end of March 2000.

ZCCM-IH is incorporated.

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