Once upon Limestone giant in Africa’s second largest copper producer, Ndola Lime Company, has undergone drastic metamorphosis in the quest to rally back to profitability. After grappling with insolvency and financial woes amassed over close to a decade on the back of hard core debtors, the limestone producer and once pillar of Ndola is coming back to life. This follows efforts to capitalize, resuscitate and inject back operational resilience into the Copperbelt’s city. Ndola Lime will now operate under a new name, Limestone Resources Limited – LRL fully owned by Lusaka Securities Exchange mining investment vehicle ZCCM-IH Plc.
Due to negative jaws, NLC has struggled to be a key employer and heart beat of Ndola, a position which it housed together with the likes of Indeni Oil Refinery in times when State Owned Entities – SOEs were still viable. However it is hoped that with the proposed re-strategization, the new legal entity, LRL will seek to drive limestone production as a going concern and will breathe life into the provincial capital of Zambia’s Copperbelt province.
June 10, marked the final turning point for the defunct Ndola Lime Company as a special resolution of creditors was passed to finalise restructure the Limestone producer through a scheme of arrangement plan. The scheme of arrangement provided for creation a new entity, restructure the NLC liabilities, transfer of the NLC business to the new entity, address the remuneration needs of NLC resources with smooth transition to the new entity and dissolution of NLC with or without winding up.
The meeting established that LRL will commence operations totally free of debt under new management that will re-orient strategy and drive performance harder to profitability and viability. Limestone Resources Ltd shareholders will proceed with capitalization initiatives.
The implication of the metamorphosis is that Ndola Limes business will continue but under a new name whose management is earmarked to commence in 3Q20.
ZCCM-IH is currently in the process of obtaining statutory and other approvals to facilitate the transition of NLC to LRL.
The processes of approvals, transfer, recruitment and recapitalization are estimated to take half a year from August 2020.
LRL has immense potential to further break into cement production following the ICBC $550million deal that ZCCM-IH signed up with Industrial Commercial Bank of China for a cement plant. Until this is completed, LRL has a readily available market for limestone in the mines.
The Kwacha Arbitrageur