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Increasing production & not finding equity partner for Mopani is our focus – ZCCM IH

ZCCM Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has dispelled assertions that they are more focused on finding an equity partner than driving production and keeping Mopani Copper Mines in local Zambian hands.

ZCCM IH acquired Mopani Copper Mines from Glencore and FQM. The move received wide ranging support from the mining unions, suppliers and communities on the Copperbelt and accross the country as it was seen as a move to have a wholly owned Zambian Coppper mine. But comcerns have been raised after indications from the mines ministry that that foreign equity partners have expressed interest in taking over the mines.

However, ZCCM IH which is the holding company has told the Zambian Business Times – ZBT that they are currently focusing on ensuring the development and growth of Mopani Copper Mine Plc’s production to generate more revenue for the company. ZCCM-IH Public Relations Manager Loisa Mbatha-Kakoma said the focus for Mopani Coper Mine was on mining and producing copper to ensure more revenue was generated for both current and future operations.

When asked on how far plans have gone to get onboard an equity partner and if the move confirmed fears that a local Zambian management cannot run the large copper mine, Mbatha-Kakoma said, “As you can understand, this is a high quality asset of which there are not many out there in the world. “Therefore it is not surprising that we were approached by several interested parties.

“Our focus for now is to ensure the development and growth of the mine in terms of production by the current Mopani management team who have so far had a provided a good track record,” she said. Mbatha-Kakoma said post deal closure, Mopani has continued operating normally and able to meet its operational needs.

She said all jobs have been retained with a new collective agreement concluded in record time. Mbatha-Kakoma said the Company is currently using its sales revenue to sustain its operations.

“Both Mining and Processing have continued without disruptions and the focus now is on mining and producing Copper so that more revenue is generated for both current and future operations,” he said. Government through ZCCM-IH acquired a majority stake in Mopani Copper Mine following a conclusion in negotiations with Glencore recently.

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