ZCCM-IH To Appeal Against FQM Case Ruling

ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc To Appeal Against the Ruling of the High Court in the matter of ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc v First Quantum Minerals, FQM Finance Limited, Philip Pascall, Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall, Martin Rowley and Kansanshi Mining Plc

30th March 2020, Lusaka – ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) intends to appeal against the Ruling of the Lusaka High Court delivered on 23 March 2020 regarding a matter commenced by ZCCM-IH in 2016, against First Quantum Minerals Limited (FQM Ltd), FQM Finance Limited, Philip Pascall, Arthur Mathias Pascall, Clive Newall, Martin Rowley and Kansanshi Mining Plc.

In the said matter ZCCM-IH alleges, among others, that the defendants on several occasions fraudulently engaged in transactions totalling in excess of $2 billion for the benefit of the FQM Group.

ZCCM-IH holds the view that the defendants’ conduct is detrimental to ZCCM-IH’s interests and those of the nation, and remains committed to protecting the said interests.

Therefore, ZCCM-IH will be appealing against the Ruling.

Issued by:
Loisa Mbatha-Kakoma
Public Relations Manager
ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc

Download Article: Download Document

Operationalise Kasenseli Gold Mine -Kungo

The Patriotic Front in North Western province says Government will solve the problem of illegal mining at Kansenseli gold mine by quickly identifying an investor to operationalise the mine.

This follows the arrest of two illegal miners by Police.

PF Provincial Chairperson Jackson Kungo says the opening of the mine will also provide the youths in the province the much needed employment.

He says it will also give opportunity to the people in the province to benefit as opposed to the people outside the province because those that where engaging in illegal mining had been identified as not coming from the area.

Mr Kungo says the people of Mwinilunga are eager to start seeing the benefits of having a precious mineral resource in their district.

He told ZNBC News in a statement that once fully operational, the economic landscape of Mwinilunga will change as this will widen the revenue base for Mwinilunga Town Council as well as the Central Government.

Meanwhile, Mr Kungo has called on the police to protect the mine site as per the Presidential directive.

He wondered how illegal miners could access the area and continue with mining when officers have been deployed on site.

Source: ZNBC

GEMFIELDS INCORPORATES ALL ITS GEMSTONE LICENCES INTO KAGEM MINING LTD

London ,Thursday, 20th March 2020- Gemfields Executive Director Sean Gilbertson has revealed that Gemfields has incorporated all its Zambian gemstone licences into Kagem Mining Limited,expanding the footprint of its emerald mining operations in Lufwanyama following approval by the Ministry of Mines.

And Kagem / Gemfields mining Limited will construct a skills training facility in Zambia to enhance vocational skills in the area around the Kagem emerald mine.

Mr. Gilbertson made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom his Excellency Lieutenant General Paul Mihova at Zambia House.

“We have confidence in the Zambian Government and this is why Gemfields has transferred the 11 previously wholly-owned gemstone licences to Kagem, which include the Mbuva-Chibolele emerald and the well- regarded Kamakanga emerald deposit. The transfer enhances Kagem’s resource base and production levels, mitigating the risks associated with the volatile nature of emerald mining and achieving economies of scale. Combining these factors with increased employment, revenues and associated royalties, taxes and dividends will boost Kagem’s position as the flag-bearer for Zambian emeralds and the number one producer of emeralds internationally,” he said.

Mr. Gilbertson said the move is to safeguard Kagem’s position as the leading Zambian emerald producer and one that is able to lead the emerald sector internationally especially in light of increased competition, particularly from Colombia.

He said the transfer follows Kagem’s emerald mining licence renewal to a further 25 years starting from December 2019 to April 2045 and would further Kagem’s position as the prominent global producer of emeralds, setting the stage for Zambia to remain the world’s number one emerald exporter.

And Mr. Gilbertson said the emeralds mine will construct a Vocational Training Centre which will function under the auspices of Zambia’s Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) and once operational, it will be accredited to TEVETA.

Mr. Gilbertson said the facility will include a four- classroom block, administrative buildings, teacher accommodation, and workshops at an estimated USD 1.5 million investment. The Vocational Training Centre (VTC) will provide short-course skills training in the following areas: bricklaying and masonry, carpentry, plumbing, boiler making, electrical wiring and installation and basic information technology.

Meanwhile High Commissioner Mihova has said Zambian emeralds were becoming popular and that it was encouraging to see that Zambia was a major competitor in the industry and called on investors to consider investing in emerald mining.

Kagem/Gemfields have been instrumental in promoting Zambian Emeralds to the world enlisting the help of celebrities such as American actress Mila Kunis to wear Zambian Emeralds on the red carpet.

Issued by Abigail Chaponda (Mrs.), First Secretary | Press and Public Relations, Zambia High Commission in the United Kingdom.

Source: Zambia-UK

How will the coronavirus affect Zambia’s economy?

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (officially named COVID-19) from its origin and epicentre in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hebei Province to elsewhere in China in late January was perhaps the first indication that what began as a health crisis would soon be felt in economic terms by countries around the world. Zambia, with its particularly strong trade links with China, is one of them. 

COVID-19 has since reached hundreds of countries which are now entering into a lockdown of their own, whilst China appears to be leaving the worst behind it. But what so far appears to be a slow return to normality on the Chinese Mainland comes with significant damage to China’s economy, which is expected to see its first drop in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) since 1976, the end of the Mao era.

Mining For Zambia spoke to acclaimed Zambian economist, Professor Oliver Saasa, and asked for his views on how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect Zambia’s mining sector, on which the country’s economy is enormously dependent. 

In an upcoming article, we will look at possible policy measures and responses that Government could implement to mitigate the impending economic damage, and avert a crisis.

Copper inventory levels in China have reached their highest in almost four years, mostly due to a 13.5% decline in the country’s industrial output in a single month, from January to February 2020. The sudden excess in copper supply has sent prices for the red metal tumbling below US$ 5 000 per metric tonne for the first time since October 2016. 

Professor Oliver Saasa

How will this affect Zambia? 

There will be several serious effects. There will certainly be a level of decline in the global demand for copper, and that has led to a lower copper price. The economy of Zambia gets more than 75% of its export receipts from copper, so any reduction in demand will have a serious impact here at home.

Naturally, this means that Zambia’s prospects for growth in 2020 will be affected. In 2019, the government’s projection was a minimum of 4% Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but at the end of last year we posted around 2%. We are a stressed economy that has failed to meet its own set targets by less than half. In terms of projections for 2020, we are hearing figures around 3%. Still, with the coronavirus, we may not reach that.

Then there is the matter of our Foreign Exchange reserves, a pre-existing problem that will only be aggravated. Zambia’s Foreign Exchange reserves stabilised for quite a while at US$1.4 billion, until December 2019. Then they reportedly dropped to US$ 1.2 billion earlier this month. Even at US$1.4 billion, we are still talking about only six weeks of import cover, in terms of reserves in the Central Bank. In the case of a calamity — such as the coronavirus — the extent to which a country can survive without external stimulus is its Foreign Exchange reserves, for importing what we usually need. A decent economy of Zambia’s standard should have 3-4 months of import cover.

To put this in perspective, Botswana has 15 months of import cover. They can survive on their reserves for over one year. If this trend continues, and the virus is not contained, we may reach less than a billion United States dollars in reserves.

Another potential effect on Zambia is related to the fact that China is a major growth country, and countries like ours are extremely dependent on it in terms of commercial interactions. The prospects for renegotiation of our loan repayments to China might be stifled by the fact that its economy has slowed.

Would you please explain why COVID-19 is having such a major effect on the Kwacha’s exchange rate?

The free-fall of the Kwacha is, firstly, because of what is happening in China and elsewhere, in terms of reduced demand and the low price of copper, and its effect on the growth prospects on several larger economies. A substantial portion of our copper exports [usually] go to China. Foreign investors have reduced appetite for Zambian Government Bonds right now, which has affected our dollar liquidity. The market is very nervous at the moment, and there are fears that an economy like Zambia’s that is so significantly dependent on China is not the best investment destination. Secondly, outside our Eurobonds, almost 30% of our sovereign debt is derived from China. Thirdly, China is a major upcoming investor in mining and a number of other sectors in Zambia. 

Fourthly, China is the leader in Zambia’s infrastructural development drive, accounting for around 90% of the large infrastructure investments in Zambia, including road construction. But what’s even more important is the fact that both the money being used to construct these roads as well as the construction companies themselves come from China. 

Anything that affects China negatively — like the stress of the coronavirus on the Chinese economy —  means that not only is road construction going to be affected, but the loan portfolio that actually finances what’s happening will shrink. In other words, the amount of money we can borrow from China will decline. It’s about the interconnectedness and dependence of Zambia on China, and the fact that China has been hit hard economically by the virus. 

The free-fall of the Kwacha can also be explained by factors such as the depleting of Zambia’s Foreign Exchange reserves, and the declining production of copper in Zambia.

The copper price rallied above US$ 6 000 in December 2019, and has now dropped off a cliff, showing a 30% decline since January. Yet, in a new report, Fitch analysts have revised up their 2020 copper price forecast to $5,900/tonne from $5,700/tonne as they now expect increased fiscal stimulus from the Chinese government to lift prices higher over the back half of the year. 

What are your thoughts on this projection?

My view is that it’s possible copper prices will rebound, depending on which countries are hit by the virus, and when. I emphasise “when” in the sense that there are so many unknowns in terms of risk factors. Since cases of COVID-19 were identified in Zambia on 18 March, we are already fearful, but not to the extent that there is havoc. But the faster it spreads in Zambia, the more serious the economic implications will become. 

The panic mode that people (and the government) may go into — stopping movement between cities, for example — would have a serious impact on businesses that are dependent on human movement. The services sector — that’s banking, hotels, retail businesses, public transport services, air travel — accounts for quite a substantial portion of the government’s tax collection. We are already in a fiscally stressed economy, and it will become worse if the coronavirus pandemic is not arrested early. 

In terms of how this may begin to affect the appetite for copper, there are so many unknowns at the moment. As far as mining is concerned, it’s the underlying policy factors that are driving investment away from Zambia’s mining industry, particularly the current fiscal regime for the sector. The impact of coronavirus – that is presently creating oversupply and falling prices – will unfortunately make a bad situation even worse.

“We are already in a fiscally stressed economy, and it will become worse if the coronavirus pandemic is not arrested early.”

So, whether a rebounding copper price will be greeted by increased production by the mining houses in Zambia is a separate question. The answer to that is not clear — it’s more likely not. In 2019, we’ve seen many problems with the fiscal regime. Added to that, because of the Government taking control of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), that mine’s production dropped by almost 50%. Government complained that no reinvestments had been made by Vedanta, KCM’s majority owner. KCM said that Government had not been paying VAT refunds. The blame game continues in nobody’s interest.

There are many policy challenges within the country that must be addressed. Mines are very concerned about the fiscal regime; they are currently at loggerheads with the government. The year 2019 was so bad that, as a miner, one would need a special sense of humour to reinvest in the industry. 

The coronavirus will have several implications for global trade. What do you see as the main implications?

The coronavirus is ‘risk factor number one’ for the entire global economy at the moment, not only for Zambia. We can’t predict how the market will behave. The stability of the global markets as a result of the virus will be determined by the extent to which the production profile [of goods and commodities] matches the demand profile. The virus will advance from one country to another, and the coping mechanisms will vary too.

“The coronavirus is ‘risk factor number one’ for the entire global economy at the moment, not only for Zambia.”

As a result of the virus, there will be a further reduction in copper production. If people in Zambia are sick — or they are scared of getting sick — they won’t go underground. That will mean that we can’t meet our production targets. If we fail to meet our targets, but demand for copper in destinations like China where we send it are high, that means there will be increased competition for copper, which creates a price escalation. We may discover that, depending on how the global market responds to the virus, things could change pretty fast, which could be inflationary.

Some economies have already cushioned the blow, like the United States (US). During the 2008 crisis, the US state had to step in and give big business big money — which, of course, they repaid later. There are not many governments with deep pockets. The Americans have the capacity to cope, but what about poor Zambia? 

***

Governments around the world are introducing financial rescue packages and tax incentives to ensure the survival of business. As copper prices continue to sink, mines from Chile to Canada are halting operations, and we are likely to see the same in Zambia before long. 

The survival of Zambia’s economy depends directly on the survival of its mining industry. We are in the midst of a pandemic; agendas must go out of the window, as we all pull together. In our next article, we will look at the various economic decisions that are being taken by Governments elsewhere in the world, and consider the options for Zambia.  Until then, stay safe!

Source: Mining for Zambia

Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mines reviews operations due to coronavirus

LUSAKA, March 20 (Reuters) – Glencore’s GLEN.L Mopani Copper Mines subsidiary in Zambia is reviewing its business in a bid to slash spending as lower copper prices and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic take their toll, it said on Friday.

The comprehensive review aims to minimise cash outflow and any non-essential projects would be suspended, the copper miner said.

“The rapid decline in the price of copper due to the impact of COVID-19 has now placed significant additional pressure on Mopani’s operations,” the company said in a statement.

Copper prices are set for their worst week since 2011 after sliding 10% so far.

The metal, often referred to as “Dr. Copper” because it acts as a bellwether for the global economy, has been hit hard by the global slowdown caused by coronavirus.

Mopani said the review would give it the necessary financial flexibility to navigate the downturn.

The miner also said it had plans in place to reduce the risk of disruption to its operations from coronavirus. Several mines in Peru and one in Canada have shut due to the pandemic.

Mopani Copper Mines, which produced 119,000 tonnes of copper in 2018, is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals FM.TO and 10% by Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH.

Source: nasdaq

ZCCM-IH SEEKS TO BOOST SMALL-SCALE GOLD TRADE

ZAMBIA’S mining giant plans to invest into the small-scale gold mining sector by formalising trade for the miners and have already begun purchases.
Earlier this week, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) announced that its subsidiary, the Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia had opened a gold testing and processing laboratory that would facilitate the assessment of locally mined gold.
“ZCCM-IH has embarked on an ambitious investment programme to harness the gold potential in the country as mandated by Government, and that so far the company has started buying gold from artisanal and small-scale gold miners as one of the steps towards the formalisation of gold mining and trading activities,” ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer Mabvuto Chipata told media.
“We are offering a competitive price, starting from K550 per gramme, and depending on the purity, using thorough technical assaying methods, the price may be higher as compared to prices found on the ground.”
Mr. Chipata further encouraged anyone with gold to come forward and sell to ZCCM-IH as the company will guide such individuals on how they can regularise their activities so that they are compliant with the relevant regulations.
And Karma Mining Services and Rural Development Chief Executive Officer Faisal Keer said the gold lab was critical in the gold trade process to determine the gold content accurately in the ore that will be received from the various miners.
Speaking at a media press briefing, the Consolidated Gold Company Chief Executive Officer said the company has invested US$3.5 million in setting up a laboratory, procurement of gold milling plants and earth moving equipment.
“The lab is critical in the process as it is meant to determine the gold content accurately in the ore that will be received from various miners, for them to get a fair share and value for their material. It will be able to process about 30 samples per day,” he said.
“The gold milling plants have a capacity of processing 30 tonnes per day, and will be operational by the first week of April 2020. Our target from the gold milling plants is to produce 300 grams of gold per day, which translates into approximately 7.5 kgs per month,” he said.
Mr Keer said the company is helping small scale miners including those dealing in lode gold or quartz gold to develop their mines and increase the mineral ore production by providing mining technical expertise and access to earth moving machinery
He called upon members of the public to utilise the facility and take their samples for testing for them to get a fair share and value for their gold.
Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia Limited is a Joint Venture partnership between ZCCM-IH (45%) and Karma Mining Services and Rural Development (55%) with a purpose of developing a gold processing and trading operation in Zambia.

Source: The Sun

ZCCM-IH sets gold buying price at 550/gramme

ZCCM-IH chief executive officer Mabvuto Chipata says talks with various companies outside Zambia are at an advanced stage to secure a viable market for the off-take of gold that will be due to be sold.

And Chipata has announced that ZCCM-IH will be offering a competitive price for gold from the local market, pegged at a starting price of K550 per gramme.

Meanwhile, Consolidated Gold Company Limited have invited all interested stakeholders to utilize a new, state-of-the art gold testing laboratory to ascertain the quantity and quality of gold mineral they may have as personal holdings to secure a market and the best possible sale price.

Addressing journalists following a media tour at the Consolidated Gold Company laboratory in Lusaka, Wednesday, Chipata said talks with various companies outside Zambia were at an advanced stage.

He was responding to a question on what progress ZCCM-IH had made in securing a viable market for the off-take of Zambian gold once the company was ready and in a position to commence sales.

He was responding to a question on what progress ZCCM-IH had made in securing a viable market for the off-take of Zambian gold once the company was ready and in a position to commence sales.

“We are also working with banks in this (gold) project. The whole value chain requires that you start from where you are buying; you need to look at the logistics; you need to look at the security; you need to look at the storage of the gold; the buyer and financing structure…so, this is a big project that we think that all the stakeholders, really, have got a part to play in this process.”

Asked how confident ZCCM-IH was at achieving their projected target of securing 40,000Kgs of gold, or 40 tonnes, in view of the security threats that halted the scoping exercise, Chipata expressed optimism given the progress made so far.

Teams comprising of ZCCM-IH, Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development and the Ministry of Home Affairs personnel were deployed to eight gold mining and panning sites across the country to undertake a scoping exercise, according to Chipata.

The exercise was, however, temporarily halted due to the fragile security situation over the last few weeks following the recent spate of gassing attacks in various areas of the country.

“How confident are we at achieving the target? You will appreciate that this is a project that we are doing for the first time. We know that Kansanshi Mine produces about 4,000-5,000Kgs of gold as we stand. The work we are doing now in terms of exploration will help us ascertain the quantities of gold that are on the ground, particularly, in Mwinilunga area (North-Western Province). In Rufunsa (District) as well, once we start exploration work, we will be able to ascertain the quantities that are there,” he replied.

“The information we have now is based on the information we have informally. So, we think that once we have done exploration work, we will be able to announce how much quantities we will discover in each of the areas as we go on during the year.”

And he announced that ZCCM-IH would be offering a competitive price for gold from the local market, pegged at a starting price of K550 per gramme.

“I must say that so far, our moving into the market to buy the gold, has been received favourably by the artisanal miners. We are offering a competitive price, starting from K550 per gramme, and depending on the purity using thorough technical assaying methods, the price may be higher. Compared to prices found on the ground ranging from K350 to K500, the price range we are offering compares favourably to this, but also to market prices as well, once the purity or gold content is determined,” Chipata announced.

Meanwhile, speaking earlier, Consolidated Gold Company Limited chief executive officer Faisal Keer invited all interested parties to utilize the new, state-of-the-art gold testing laboratory to ascertain the quantity and quality of gold mineral they may have as personal holdings to secure a market and best possible sale price.

“This laboratory is targeted at the operations we are setting up starting with Rufunsa where we are working with small-scale and artisanal miners there from the surrounding area. We have so far invested about US $250,000 in setting up this lab that will be able to process about 30 samples per day. The lab will also be open to the general public for them to come and have their samples tested from here,” said Keer.

“The next step in the project, as you saw, we have procured 10 milling plants to be set-up on the Rufunsa site and also some earth-moving machinery. The gold milling plants have a capacity of processing 30 tonnes per day and will be operational by the first week of April, 2020.”

The media tour was organized as part of efforts to sensitize all stakeholders of progress ZCCM-IH had made in the ongoing gold value chain project.

The company has started buying gold from artisanal and small-scale gold miners as one of the steps towards the formalization of gold mining and trading activities.

ZCCM-IH’s national target for gold from both primary and secondary sources is 40 tonnes or 40,000Kgs.

Source: News Diggers

Zambia hints of setting-up commission to regulate mineral resources

 

CONSOLIDATED GOLD COMPANY IN ZAMBIA LAUNCHES GOLD LABORATORY

ZCCM-IH recently held a press briefing and media tour of the gold testing and processing laboratory.

The briefing was addressed by ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mabvuto Chipata and Karma Mining Services and Rural Development/Consolidated Gold Company Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Faisal Keer.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Chipata informed the media that ZCCM-IH has embarked on an ambitious investment programme to harness the gold potential in the country as mandated by Government, and that so far the company has started buying gold from artisanal and small-scale gold miners as one of the steps towards the formalisation of gold mining and trading activities.

He announced that ZCCM-IH is offering a competitive price, starting from K550 per gram, and depending on the purity using thorough technical assaying methods, the price may be higher as compared to prices found on the ground.

Mr. Chipata further encouraged anyone with gold to come forward and sell to ZCCM-IH as the company will guide such individuals on how they can regularise their activities so that they are compliant with the relevant regulations.

And speaking earlier Mr. Faisal Keer noted that the lab was critical in the process as it is meant to determine the gold content accurately in the ore that will be received from the various miners, for them to get a fair share and value for their material.

He called upon members of the public to utilise the facility and take their samples for testing.

Consolidated Gold Company of Zambia Limited is a Joint Venture partnership between ZCCM-IH (45%) and Karma Mining Services and Rural Development (55%) with a purpose of developing a gold processing and trading operation in Zambia.