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Zambia: government wants to complete buyout of Glencore’s stake in Mopani Copper Mines within a month

(Ecofin Agency) – Zambia is expected to complete a majority stake in Switzerland’s local subsidiary Glencore, which owns various copper mines in the country, within a month. According to the Minister of Mines, financing will not be a problem, despite the current state of public finances.

In Zambia, Glencore could soon cede to the state all or part of its interest (73.1%) in Mopani Copper Mines, a local subsidiary active in the copper mines of the Swiss commodities giant. At least that is what emerges from the words of Barnaby Mulenga (photo), permanent secretary at the Zambian Ministry of Mines, who foresees the end of the negotiations within a month, without specifying the importance of the participation that the national company ZCCM Investments Holdings is trying to acquire.

If the country has been in “payment default” for several weeks, according to the rating agency S&P, raising the necessary funds for the operation does not appear to be a problem. However, we learn, the funding will not come from the public treasury.

“The resource attracts money, so the question of financing is the last worry for the Zambian government,” Mulenga told Bloomberg as Glencore valued the various operations at $ 704 million.

As a reminder, the decision to acquire a majority stake in Mopani Copper Mines came earlier this year, after tensions with Glencore. The company wanted to put its mines on a maintenance and upkeep regime, against the advice of the government, which currently holds only 10% interest through ZCCM-IH, the rest belonging to First Quantum Minerals.

Source: Agence Ecofin

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