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ZCCM to garner shareholder approval for Mopani takeover on March 30

Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM Investment Holdings will hold an extraordinary general meeting on March 30 for shareholders to vote on the company’s intended acquisition of Mopani Copper Mines.

ZCCM in December announced it interest in acquiring 90% of Mopani’s issued shares from Carlisa Investment Corporation, as represented by its majority owner international miner Glencore.

Carlisa in 2020 wanted to place Mopani on care and maintenance, which led ZCCM, which then held a 10% interest in Mopani, to intervene.

Mopani is one of the longest running and largest copper and cobalt mining operations in Zambia.

Mopani has historically been funded by shareholder loans from Carlisa and other members of the Glencore group. Pursuant to this transaction, ZCCM and Carlisa have agreed that Mopani’s $1.5-billion debt bill will be taken over by ZCCM.

Should shareholders approve the transaction, Glencore and Mopani will enter into offtake agreements, whereby Glencore will acquire up to 100% of Mopani’s production of copper cathodes and copper anode slimes materials at market rates.

Some of this production will be allocated for sale to domestic Zambian value-adding customers.

ZCCM CEO Mabvuto Chipata notes that, as the global energy transition shifts away from hydrocarbons toward renewables, and development in electric vehicles drives copper demand and prices, ZCCM is in a good position as it prepares to officially assume ownership of this asset and mine this critical metal.

The mines owned and operated by Mopani – Nkana and Mufulira – are considered key Zambian assets.

A competent persons report completed by consultancy SRK in January confirmed a total resource of 255-million tonnes at a grade of 2.03% total copper for Nkana and 76.6-million tonnes at 2.2% total copper at Mufulira.

Further development has increased the mine life by 25 years through the integration of new infrastructure, as well as the implementation of an expansion programme over five targets, and three shaft sinking projects, in addition to building a new concentrator capable of a throughput of 4.2-million tonnes a year and recoveries of 94%.

The refinery’s design capacity is 225 000 t/y of copper cathode, placing it among the largest in Africa and one of four major smelters in Zambia.


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