After leaving everyone in the dust at the recently ended mining Indaba in Cape town, Zambian mining players are shifting levers to ready for greater expansions and exploration investments. However to achieve that, power supply stability remains critical and this necessitated ZCCM-IH’s visit to power transmissions giant the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) Plc in the week.
The strategic nature of the visit is that it happened in the wake of a hat – trick of positives for Africa’s red metal producer namely record high base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME), a newly signed Bulk Supply Agreement (BSA) after a 2 year bitter divorce between CEC and ZESCO Ltd and increased mining investment prospects to support the 3 million metric ton forecast for copper in the next 5-10 years time. Democratic Republic of Congos expansion prospects also pose a good fortunes for CEC as it supplies power to the Copperbelt of Africa. These factors further spell increased shareholders value for which ZCCM-IH is 24.1% in CEC Plc a company whose outlook is positive and whose shares are a must buy as energy demand is set to scale higher.
The decline in political risk post August has been a winner for the energy supplier following policy changes that supported a reversal in draconian statutory instrument 57 targeted at making the state utility a common carrier and this cost CEC massive impairments on its 2020 number. ZCCM – IH has a new board that have demonstrated strong business will to tap into Zambias mining boom with recently appointed board chair Dolika Banda leading the team on the mining road show as they court investee companies.
The mining investment vehicle has been strategic enough to create partnerships that will also ensure that financing is catered for to support smaller businesses such as SMEs that are tagged as downstream entities in the value addition chain in the faculty. ZCCM-IH inked a memorandum with Zambias largest bank Zanaco Plc to provide support to small to medium sized enterprises in their contribution to socio economic development.
Key areas of clarity that the mining fraternity will require is the recapitalization of Mopani copper mine with $300 million injection sought and a clearer path of the Konkola Copper Mine quagmire as these two areas continue to dampen investment posture. ZCCM-IH was spotted at Kagem mining where it holds 25% stake another lucrative investee company that is responsible for the worlds best emeralds.
Zambia will seek to drive strong economic recovery through mining which is currently bolstered by global decarbonization in the wake of the need to drive climate risk mitigation and adaptation stronger.