First Quantum evaluating alternative power sources for Zambia mines

Providing an update on power supply to its Zambian operations, dual-listed base metals miner First Quantum Minerals noted on Tuesday that its Kansanshi mine and smelter, as well as its Sentinel project, in the North-Western province, were being consistently provided with a total of about 285 MW, despite the country’s electricity woes.

Nevertheless, the miner revealed that is was also evaluating a number of options to independently secure power for its operations both in the near and long term.

Zambia’s electricity shortage and weaker copper prices – owing to slow growth in China – have put the country’s mining industry under pressure, threatening output, jobs and economic growth in Southern Africa.

However, the Zambian Chamber of Mines revealed last week that the country’s copper production increased to 711 515 t in 2015 from 708 000 t the previous year, which was mostly attributed to the February ramp-up at First Quantum’s Sentinel mine.


In a show of support for its host country, First Quantum explained that Zambia was in the midst of its annual rainy season, which generally starts in November and runs through April. With the onset of the rains, the catchment area that feeds the Kariba dam, from which the majority of the country’s electricity is generated, was being recharged.

The river flows at all four upstream measuring stations above Kariba dam were all showing significant increases in flow rates over the past month. Water from the catchment area typically makes its way into the Kariba dam over a period of months with dam recharge occurring from January to June.

In addition to this annual replenishment, electricity availability would be augmented by about 420 MW of new in-country capacity expected online during the current year from projects nearing completion, including 300 MW of thermal power and 120 MW hydropower.

Zambia’s State-run power company Zesco had been importing power from neighbouring countries and recently announced that it would receive additional power imports of up to 300 MW from South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom, as well as 200 MW from an independent power producer.

First Quantum also confirmed that plans to reduce its net debt position by over $1-billion by the end of March, 2016, through a combination of asset sales and other strategic initiatives, were going ahead with the continued support of its secured lenders

Source: Zambian Mining Magazine

ZCCM-IH in the process of constructing a cement plant in Ndola

THE Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment (ZCCM-IH) is in the process of constructing a cement plant in Ndola with an initial investment of US$600 million.
ZCCM-IH chief executive officer, Pius Kasolo said the plant which would be setup at Ndola Lime on the Copperbelt would be completed in three years time and is expected to create more than 1,000 permanent jobs.

Dr Kasolo said in an interview in Lusaka that the plant’s production capacity would be 5,000 tonnes per day and would absorb a good number of retrenched miners on the Copperbelt.

He said at construction stage, ZCCM-IH would create about 10,000 jobs but that once the plant was completed, the number would reduce to over 1,000.

“We have diversified and we are planning to setup a cement plant in Ndola with an initial investment of about $600 million.

“It will be a bigger cement plant which will be producing 5,000 tonnes of cement per day and we will be generating our own energy from the cement plant,” he said.

Dr Kasolo explained that finances were being put in place and the feasibility studies had since been conducted.
He said this was in line with the Zambia International Investment Forum (ZIIF -2016) which would be held under the theme “Investment for Industrialisation, Wealth and Job Creation.”

Commerce Trade and Industry Minister, Margaret Mwanakatwe launched the Investment Forum in Lusaka on Friday.

Dr Kasolo said once the prices of cement drop further, it would mean that more people would be able to construct houses and factories.

He said this meant that the more the prices of cement drop, the more industrialised Zambia would be.

Source: LusakaTimes

ZCCM-IH takes part in a Charity Fundraising Golf Tournament at State House

On Sunday 11 January 2015 ZCCM-IH took part in a Charity Fundraising Golf Tournament at the State House to help raise funds for the Kasisi Orphanage. The ZCCM-IH team led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Pius Kasolo played very well and scored 1 under par over the 18 challenging holes. More importantly ZCCM-IH contributed K20,000 towards the Orphanage with total contributions from all companies exceeding K200,000

Float shares with credit rating

FLOATING shares on the capital market without a credit rating may inhibit public participation due to lack of information on the risk profile of the company intending to list, Credit Rating Agency (CRA) has observed.
Commenting on the low number of subscribers to the ZCCM Investment Holding (IH) share offer CRA executive director of strategy and business development, Chishimba Yumbe said lack of clarity on the risk profile and operating environment of ZCCM-IH may have discouraged investors.

Almost 28 million Government shares in ZCCM-IH were offered for sale to Zambians, but only 0.81 percentage point shares were bought when the offer closed on November 30, 2015, with the listing company attributing the low subscription to the challenges facing the global copper mining industry.

Mr Yumbe said in an interview on Monday that credit ratings analyse all risk issues and are a vital component of market information to be included in a public offering of shares if the public is to be attracted in the offer, especially during challenging times such as the fall in the prices of base metals on the global market.

CRA is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as Zambia’s only authorised provider of credit rating services and it seeks to promote credit ratings spur investments and economic development.
“It was important to understand why the response from public investors could have been low. Investors’ interests are primarily two-fold – reward and risk. The former is often well amplified in the company prospectus through the financial projections, but the latter if not well articulated can be very difficult to decipher by potential investors.”

“One way a risk is easily communicated is through a credit rating. To arrive at a credit rating entails independent assessment of all business and financial risks, and the credit rating report provides detailed pertinent information,” he said.

Mr Yumbe, who described the low participation as unfortunate, said the current economic downturn in base metal prices does not mean future prospects are poor hence, the need to view share offers and long-term investments.
On July 30, 2015, Government offered Zambian citizens 27,961,237 shares, representing 17.4 percent of its shareholding in the mining conglomerate but Stock Brokers Zambia said only 805 applications were received and processed, representing a total of 226,064 shares.

This means the residual shares amounting to 27,735,173 representing 17.3 percent shareholding in ZCCM-IH will still be retained by Government.

Source: Daily Mail

Mine to save jobs

CHIBULUMA Mines on the Copperbelt is to restructure its operational plan for 2016 and develop the Chifupu copper project in order to prolong the mine’s lifespan from 2018 to 2022.

Chibuluma Mines board chairman Jackson Sikamo said the restructuring plan was scheduled to be carried out in the first quarter of 2016.He said that would result in 263 employees being made redundant.

Mr Sikamo said in order to mitigate the magnitude of job losses and ensure decent alternative jobs, the company has made arrangements for a significant proportion of the employees affected to be taken on by the contractors who would carry out the outsourced services.

He said for the company to continue the development of the Chifupu copper project to prolong the mine’s life from 2018 to 2022, the mining output from Chibuluma South will reduce to 27,000 tons per month from 45,000 tonnes.

“This adopted option will be implemented expeditiously whilst ensuring that all the operational and business risks are identified and a systematic risk management mechanism is put in place to address them,” he said.

Chibuluma Mines Plc was incorporated in October 1997 following the privatization of the then Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited.

The parent company is Metorex (Pty) Limited of South Africa who own 85% of shares while ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc own the remaining 15%.

Metorex is in turn wholly owned by Jinchuan International of China.

Source: Daily Nation