Glencore will offload 90% Mopani shares to ZCCM-IH – Musukwa

MINES Minister Richard Musukwa says Glencore is planning to offload around 90 per cent of its collective shares in Mopani Copper Mines Plc to government through ZCCM-IH.

And Musukwa says ZCCM-IH will galvanise resources to ensure they manage and operate Mopani Copper Mines prudently.

Meanwhile, Musukwa says Konkola Copper Mines (KCM’s) operational performance has improved since the provisional liquidator Milingo Lungu’s appointment last year.

Speaking on Diamond TV’s programme, Costa, Sunday evening, Musukwa announced that Glencore, which held 73.1 per cent shares in Mopani, was planning on offloading its shareholding to ZCCM-IH, together with a further 16.9 per cent from Calisa Investment Corporation.

ZCCM-IH currently only holds a 10 per cent shareholding in Mopani, according to Musukwa.

“Zambia sits on a huge reserve in terms of mineralisation for copper and several other minerals. Mopani is sitting on huge resources, which can run in access of up to to 40 years, so it is very viable. So, we are very confident that we are able to navigate out of this critical time and ensure that the life of Mopani is sustained. Even from the Glencore perspective, in terms of the investments portfolio, which they have put in their operations is huge; billions of dollars in terms of a new schycotorium, new shaft…All these facets were as a result of Mopani and Glencore knowing very well that Mopani was sitting on a tenement that was viable and was able to sustain itself,” Musukwa said.

“ZCCM-IH has 10 per cent shares, Glencore has 73.1 per cent stake and a company called Calisa has 16.9 per cent. When ZCCM-IH, after this care and maintenance process commenced, ZCCM-IH, as a minority shareholder, submitted an expression of interest in increasing its shareholding in the company. I must report that graciously, Glencore, the majority shareholder, accepted favourably. Further to not only accepting the 73.1 per cent stake, Glencore has actually galvanized even the 16.9 per cent that sits on Calisa together making a total offer of 90 per cent to ZCCM-IH in order to ensure that they take full control of the company.”

Musukwa said Mopani faced a challenge of huge operational costs of highly-priced contracts and the engagement of a large number of contractors and expatriates.

“The huge challenge that Mopani has had been the cost profile of exploiting this resource. Government’s considered view is that we need to look at how best we can reduce the cost, increase production and ensure that the operations are done under safe rules. Mopani did indicate that they wanted to put the mine on care and maintenance, which is going to put in excess of 15,000 employees in the streets and the government did reject that proposal because it was inimical to the interests of our people. More also, it was inimical to sterilise a resource when we feel it can be exploited, economically, by ensuring that Mopani reduces its cost profile by stopping to procure highly-priced contracts and the engagement of a huge number of contractors and expatriates,” Musukwa said.

“So, basically, when they put up the care and maintenance (proposal), we constituted a technical team and the technical team revealed that they were overheads that were being developed by Mopani, which, in our view, if these overheads were reduced, the company can be viable. You will be interested to know that the technical team and experts and people from all walks of life have actually come across and given different perspectives of how to operate and run the mine going forward profitably. At a time like this, we hope that we can have a smooth managed exit in order to ensure that Glencore and the Zambian government can continue to enjoy a mutual relationship.”

And Musukwa said ZCCM-IH would galvanise resources to ensure the management and operation of Mopani was done prudently.

“There is no investor that comes to Zambia with a sack of money or, indeed, money held in some accounts in order to come and exploit these resources. The money that is invested in the mining sector is money that is generated through various vehicles from these mining entities because they have international confidence on the market. We think very strongly that this is a matter that Zambian players, through ZCCM-IH and other entities, are able to galvanise these resources going forward. If you propose to a woman, it means that you have the capacity to look after them in marriage that is why ZCCM-H has expressed interest. If it didn’t have the capacity, it was not going to express interest,” Musukwa said.

“ZCCM-IH could not be having money sitting on their profile of this magnitude in terms of a purchase of these shares. ZCCM-IH will be able to galvanise these resources through other entities, through other vehicles. In short, ZCCM-IH is being used as a platform and this is a time where Zambians should not be doubting where this money is coming from, Zambians should be able to organise themselves and look for stake in the company.”

He, however, stressed that the funds being mobilised to manage the acquisition of shares and the administration of Mopani would not derive from debt financing, but would be raised from the ZCCM-IH’s resources.

“It is not the Government of Zambia, which is raising this money; this resource will be raised through ZCCM-IH. This is a blessing in disguise, an opportunity has presented itself for ZCCM-IH to have a footprint in terms of the mining entity. The resources that are going to be mobilised will be mobilised at that platform, at a business trajectory and not a debt to Government of the Republic of Zambia. ZCCM-IH has connectivity to ensure that we get these resources to immediately pump in the operations and stabilise its production. This is a time where we, as government, are looking at a platform where we can sit and say, ‘how best can this operation be run with the support of Zambians?’ This is an opportunity where we can give some of our shares to the Zambian public or Zambian businesses or other entities in order to ensure that ZCCM-IH is not overburdened, but have a cake, which they are able to manage,” he explained.

Musukwa also said that ZCCM-IH had finalised the appointment of a transaction advisor to work out Mopani’s cost profile.

“So, in terms of how we will work out the cost profile, ZCCM-IH has appointed a transaction advisor, a professional transactional advisor, who will look at all these nitty gritties. The process of appointing a transactional advisor was just being concluded last week, so I am sure that in the spirit of openness and transparency, the government, through ZCCM-IH, will ensure it makes these details available. Apart from a transactional advisor, a team has been constituted, which bordering across technocrats in Ministries of Finance, National Planning, Ministry of Mines, Justice and other stakeholders, such as trade unions and all people from all walks of life would be incorporated. We are dealing with a process that the government would like to see an open, transparent process anchored on the rule of law,” Musukwa said.

“This process is anchored on mutual trust and understanding with the bedrock of negotiations and discussion. That is why government would like to ensure that Glencore comes out clean as we move through this process. I must say that tomorrow (Monday) the negotiation processes are going on. I must say from my team, they have actually told me that the last three, four negotiation processes that have been going on, Glencore has shown serious commitment, including ensuring that some of the costs you are talking about will not be costs that are paid in a day. This cost for this entire process cannot be paid in a day, these are costs, which will be escalated in the future as we operate the mine and so on. What we are going to do is that, actually one of the negotiating issues is to put on a temporal mechanism, where both Glencore and ZCCM-IH will begin to look at these cost profiles, even when we have the final process, so that these costs are looked at and ensure that the production and operations continue as priority.”

Meanwhile, Musukwa claimed that KCM’s operational performance had improved since Milingo’s appointment as the mining company’s provisional liquidator last May.

“And for avoidance of doubt, ever since the (provisional) liquidator took over, there are positive results that are being generated at KCM. Clearly, the company was mismanaged,” said Musukwa.


ZCCM-IH starts manganese mining in Serenje

ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc Limited has started mining manganese in Serenje district , Central Province.

The company has so far invested about one point five million United States Dollars, which has gone towards the setting up of the site infrastructure, such as a weigh bridge and offices, and the resettlement of nine project affected households.

ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Officer Mabvuto Chipata said the Company is repositioning itself to have more control, and drive growth in developing the mining sector in the country.

Chipata was speaking when Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Group Chief Executive Officer Mateyo Kaluba toured the mine site in Serenje.

And Kaluba said he is happy with the commencement and the progress made in developing the project.

He said it good that ZCCM-IH is now living to the expectations of its shareholders by developing a wholly owned new mine.


Maamba supplies full capacity as demand peaks

Maamba Collieries is working flat out to meet the nation’s peak season energy requirement with demand increasing in the winter with additional requirement for heating, hot water,  farm irrigation as well as industry as the nation slowly resumes life in the new normal.

The country’s only coal-fired thermal power plant, which provides 24/7 assured ‘baseload’ power independent of rain or sunshine, has been operating continuously at 100% capacity for the last two months, achieving an average of 91% availability since the start of the year.

“Despite implementing stringent measures to comply with health regulations to meet COVID-19 stipulations, it’s all systems go as our teams work around the clock to meet peak cold season demand,” said CEO Rear Admiral Venkat Shankar.

“We are committed to maintaining full capacity and providing a reliable energy source for industry, agriculture and households that is independent of the vagaries of climate conditions and operates day and night.”

He said the high availability of the thermal power plant in Sinazongwe contributes to reducing the power deficit being experienced across the country, with resulting support for the economy. 

Zambia relies heavily on hydropower but has been facing increased power shortages, caused by drought. In March 2020, Zambia’s electricity deficit had reached 810 MW.

The country’s environmentally friendly thermal power plant is critical to complement hydropower generation and ensure continued security of power supply.


KCM Saying Caving in of ground at the Nchanga Open Pit happening as predicted

Konkola Copper Mines has announced that the Caving in of ground following slope instability within a section of the Nchanga Open Pit Cut 2 in Chingola started to occur as predicted, and there is no threat to the safety of employees or people in nearby communities.

The Geo-technical team monitoring the sloughing following a series of multiple tension cracks at the Open pit noticed visible ground failure during the night of 7 July 2020.

The team continues to monitor ground movement and KCM will provide further details on the occurrence at a later stage.

“The amount of ground that has caved in will be known only after the area becomes safe for the technical team to conduct physical inspections,” KCM Chief Executive Officer Christopher Sheppard commented on the matter.

Mr Sheppard said the monitoring will continue using the modern technology installed a few years back to determine the movement of ground at the Open pit, which has helped KCM to predict the sloughing and appropriately advise stakeholders in communities and the nation at large on the matter.

The CEO said that Konkola Copper Mines top priority remains the safety of employees and people in communities around the mining area.

Mr Sheppard has assured stakeholders that they should not have any safety concerns about the sloughing and continue with their businesses or activities, but avoid attempting to enter in the hazard exclusion zone.

“People in nearby communities are advised that there will be no sound of ground fall during the period when the ground continues to fail as it is a gradual process with the ground sliding towards the Open pit”, he said.

Mr Sheppard said historically, global open pit mines have had similar incidents without warning, but the current occurrence at KCM was predicted because of the company’s investment in modern technology on ground movements.

“The rerouting of power lines to the Kafue Pump Station in Chingola is due to be completed on Wednesday, 8th July 2020 while there-routed water pipeline from the Kafue Pump Station to the Nchanga mining complex and eventually to Mulonga Water and Sanitation Company would be completed and become operational on Thursday, 9th July 2020”, he added.

Mr Sheppard thanked stakeholders, especially members of the community for adhering to safety protocols announced to them during engagements conducted before the sloughing started to occur.


Butondo Primary School

Building blocks for the community: Mopani is helping Mufulira school build its future

Education is a vital “building block” to prosperity in any society. In Mufulira, Mopani Copper Mines Plc’s recent construction of a new classroom block at Butondo Primary School has come to symbolise much more.

It was the parents of children attending Butondo Primary School who first highlighted the need for more classrooms through regular requests to school staff for smaller class sizes. With between 40 and 50 pupils per class —  and sometimes even more than 50 — teachers at Butondo Primary School have been spread very thin for a few years.

“We have challenges with [a shortage of] seating, and the number of teachers to pupils,” says Rosemary Mwape, Deputy Head Teacher at Butondo Primary School. “When you have a reasonable number of pupils, you can attend to each and every child. But, if there are many pupils in one class, some will be left out, and some will not be adequately attended to or helped while they are writing their exercises. It’s not easy, and management is concerned.”

But staff have always been extremely reluctant to turn learners away. Butondo is the only accessible school for primary school learners in the immediate area. If they can’t attend Butondo, they almost certainly won’t attend school at all. 

Asking hard-up parents to chip in for the construction of new classrooms unfortunately just wasn’t possible. Although — as with all government schools — there are no tuition fees to pay at Butondo Primary School, parents do have to cover the cost of their children’s textbooks. Occasionally, the government sends a batch of books, but deliveries are sporadic. And so it was that parents and staff jointly decided to approach Mopani to ask for financial assistance to build new classrooms.

Mopani offered to build four, and the town’s largest employer soon began constructing a “one by four block”: one standalone building — rectangular-shaped — to be divided into four classrooms. 

Getting the ball rolling 

Sometimes getting the ball rolling is all that’s needed to open up a world of possibility, and one simple idea can often be a catalyst for greater things. The school’s staff began putting some serious thought into the value that this additional space could add to the school, and pondering the capacity that could be built. 

Apart from classrooms, storage space for Science equipment was an area that was lacking, staff agreed. Soon, they identified several potential areas for growth and development. “We have to move the Mobile Lab to wherever the pupils have class, and then bring it back again,” says Mwape. “And even the computers: after using them, we take them back to the strong room where there is adequate security. So, we need a room where we could keep and secure them properly so that each and every child can use them.”

But perhaps the most pressing issue on many teachers’ minds was the four students with learning or physical disabilities who, at that point, had been enrolled in the school simply because it was the only chance that they had of receiving an education. 

“In this school, we have four or five pupils who have learning difficulties or special education needs. It’s a big challenge. In the past, parents did not send these children to school. But we have a teacher who is trained in that field, so he’s now enrolling those learners. In future, if we have the space — if we have a classroom — we can use that to teach sign language, and everything they need,” explains Ms. Mwape. 

With only one teacher among its team of staff who is qualified to teach these students —  one who is hearing-impaired, two of whom are mute, and one of whom has a cognitive learning disability, and with all four in different grades — having a lone teacher with his own regular classes to teach will be very trying. But with proper planning and a bit more space, Butondo could fill an important gap in giving students with special needs a proper education, some of the teachers believe.

“We don’t want these learners to be left out. They are just at home in the compounds not learning anything. Their parents are keeping them at home. That’s why we are enrolling them: so that they can also learn something,” she says.

The teaching staff is considering lobbying for another teacher, and has already informed the District Education Board of their need. There are special units within schools that cater for learners with special needs in the area. But Mwape and her colleagues recognise the need for this facility in Mufulira, too. “We also need to open a unit here. Those others are too far away. Our communities need this.”

Blue skies ahead

“We don’t want these learners to be left out. That’s why we are enrolling them: so that they can also learn something.”

Outside, four construction workers from a company contracted by Mopani Copper Mines Plc were diverting a water source to a small cement mixer. The block had taken shape, its four future classrooms divided by grey walls of cement, still open to the sky. 

The wet season was still a few months away, but for now the skies were blue. By the time the rains came, these would be fully insulated rooms where 40 or 50 students would be hunched over desks as the pitter-patter of water came down on its tin roof, for most only slightly drowning out the sound of their teacher’s voice.

For Mufulira’s community, seeing an idea like theirs germinate and then come to fruition inspires optimism and proactivity in ways that should not be underestimated. Today’s pupils may be in high school before they study in a dedicated computer lab and, for now, the Science Lab remains mobile. But a little bit of help goes a long way in keeping dreams for the future alive.



SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Anthony Mukutuma has been appointed general manager of First Quantum Minerals’ multi-million-dollar Kansanshi Mine in Solwezi District of North Western Province.

He is the first Zambian to hold such a post at Kansanshi, which is the largest copper mine in Africa by production.

Mr Mukutuma has 20 years of experience in operations and management of mineral processing and hydrometallurgical plants, covering business development, research and development, design and design optimisation, commissioning, process optimisation (including de-bottlenecking), operations management, business performance improvement and talent development.

Before his appointment, Mr Mukutuma ran First Quantum Minerals’ Guelb Moghrein copper-gold mine in Mauritania, and most recently was general manager for the restart of operations at its Ravensthorpe Nickel Operation in Australia.

Mr Mukutuma’s previous designations include, the position of metallurgist in mineral processing at the Konkola Division of the then Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM). He has also worked in hydrometallurgy at Anglo American’s research laboratories in South Africa, from senior metallurgist to plant manager, then technical manager at First Quantum Minerals’ Bwana Mkubwa mine processing plant in Ndola. He also worked as plant manager at the early stages of the Kevitsa Mine project in Finland.

He holds a BEng. in chemical engineering with minerals engineering from the University of Birmingham, and an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Liverpool.

“FQM is proud to announce the appointment of Mr Mukutuma as the new general manager for our Kansanshi Mine. It is a significant milestone for the company and reinforces our commitment to providing equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender, race or creed,” said FQM country manager General Kingsley Chinkuli.

“Management wishes him all the best in his new role as GM. We are confident he will be equal to the task and we are eager to tap into the vast knowledge he has acquired in the last 20 years in the industry.”

General Chinkuli stressed it was one of numerous appointments that have seen senior Zambian staff taking on top management positions, not just at Kansanshi and its sister Sentinel Mine in Kalumbila, but also other mines under the FQM Group worlwide.

And he added that the company would continue to create an enabling environment where employees had an opportunity to progressively rise through the ranks.

Kansanshi has around 3,276 direct staff and almost 5,000 contractors, primarily Zambians, and uses state-of-the-art technology to extract copper from three different ore types, with world-class efficiency.


KCM Warns Of Caving In Of Ground At Nchanga Open Pit

Konkola Copper Mines has called for safety precautions among employees and residents who live near its Nchanga Open Pit mine as assessments have indicated that there will be a possible caving in of ground in the area.

“Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) wishes to inform members of the Public and the community of the Nchanga North (Buyantanshi Township, Buntungwa ward) in particular that the company has detected tension cracks, which have caused slope instability at the Nchanga Open Pit (Cut 2) mining area. Konkola Copper Mines’ geotechnical assessments have indicated that cracks will cause a slough (caving-in of ground), which could occur as early as 1 st July 2020. KCM technical assessments indicate that there will be no risk of ground instability to households on the perimeter of the mining area,” KCM has stated.

“As a safety precaution residents of the area are advised not to stray into the Nchanga Open Pit (Cut 2) mining area for their own safety.”

It stated that Zambia Police and KCM Security Personnel have been deployed to patrol the exclusion area.

“KCM is taking all necessary measures to safeguard the lives of employees and members of the community, as well as company, public and private property,” it stated.


Mopani denies Owing Kitwe City Council K58 million

Mopani Mines has accused Kitwe City Council of increasing rates by 600% outside the binding agreement.

On Wednesday, Kitwe City Council bailiffs pounced on Mopani Copper Mines in an attempt to collect various properties after the mining company refused to pay the K58 million owed to the local authority under the new valuation roll as approved by the rating tribunal.

But in a statement, Mopani also refuted reports that it owes Kitwe City Council a staggering K58 million in Property rates.

The mining giant alleges that it entered into a 5-year agreement with Kitwe City Council in 2015 to pay K8 million a year and that the agreement remains valid until end of 2020.

“Earlier this year the Council without prior consultation, increased the rates to K58 million (+600 percent) contrary to the provisions of the Agreement, and rejected Mopani’s offer to pay the undisputed amount of K8 million while negotiations were ongoing.“

Mopani Copper Mines PLC has since disputed the rates in the High Court, which granted a Stay of Execution against the award of the new rates.

“Mopani remains a long standing partner to Kitwe City Council. The act of sending bailiffs to collect a disputed debt, which is still before the Court of law is concerning. Mopani has since made the full payment for the undisputed K8 million and remains hopeful of a swift conclusion to the matter,” read part of the statement.

But Kitwe City Council says it dismayed by Mopani’s statement claiming that it has increased the rate by 600%.

In clarifying the matter, the council has indicated that the agreement Mopani is alluding to in its statement was tied to the life of the 2014 Valuation Roll which expired in 2019.

It said the preparation of the valuation roll is governed by the Rating Act No. 21 of 2018 and the process is very consultative as observed from the timeline of events which occurred during the review of the 2014 valuation roll.

The statement indicates that, on the 11th October 2019, the Council passed a resolution to propose the rate levy from K0.016 or 1.6 ngwee in the 2014 valuation roll to K0.0165 or 1.65 ngwee under the 2019 valuation roll giving the difference of K0.0005 representing an increment of 3%.

“The Council resolution on K0.0165 rate levy was published in the gazette on 14th October 2019 and in the print media on 16th October 2019 to invite the leaseholders to inspect the valuation roll which inspections ended on the 11th November 2019,” says the statement.

The Council has revealed that Mopani lodged an objection to the effect that the levy of K0.0165 was too high but did not dispute the value of properties on the roll.

“Thereafter, the Mine and the Local Authority held meetings to narrow the differences in opinion where it was agreed that parties proceed to seek the Valuation Tribunal decision on the rate levy proposed by the council. However, the Valuation Tribunal after hearing both parties, agreed with the Kitwe City Council accordingly. Consequently, the 2019 Valuation Roll came into effect on 1st January 2020.”

“Upon service of the bill, the mine sued the council and obtained a conditional stay of execution which elapsed by the date of execution” says the statement.

Kitwe City council has confirmed that, part payment of K8 million has been paid and the mine has committed in writing to resolve the remaining balance of K21,241,913.51 within five days from 1st July 2020 which is the date of the commitment letter.

This payment is for the period 1st January to 1st July 2020. The Council is hopeful that the mine will honor its commitment within 5 days as promised.

Kitwe City Council has further urged companies and residents to settle bills on time as the local authority requires resources in order to provide the much needed services.


ZCCM-IH charts way forward for Ndola Lime

Three months after the ZCCM IH management team signalled a way forward for their distressed asset, Ndola Lime, a way forward has been established, according to a statement from the investment group.

In March 2020, ZCCM IH announced the appointment of a Business Rescue Administrator (BRA) who would oversee the much need turnaround of Ndola Lime. The BRA had commenced the process of restructuring the operations of NLC with a view to creating a business that will take over the running of the limestone operations sustainably.

With over K1 billion kwacha already sunk into the lime company over the last 10 years, the entity continued making losses from operations. According to year on year annual reports from ZCCM IH in the last 5 years, indications of the causes of the challenges the entity was facing emanated from its core asset (Vertical Kiln).

In the 2012 AR, ZCCM IH reported that it had recapitalized Ndola Lime Company through a shareholder loan of K28.7 million (US2.82 million) for the NLC Recapitalization Project. At the time of publishing the 2016 AR, the Second Vertical Kiln (VK-2) was still undergoing hot commissioning.

Fast forward to the 2017 AR, it appears that the hot commissioning phase of the Recapitalization Project was met with a series of technical hurdles that affected the performance of the company. Small wonder why in the 2017 AR this particular update appeared under the “Strategic New Investments” section of the report? We asked the question because according to the 2017 AR, the Board was undertaking a review of the entire operation of the Ndola Lime to determine an appropriate option that will result in improving operations of NLC as well as the performance of the Group. This marked the first strong single that it was only a matter of time that the management team at ZCCM IH would make the strategic decision of bringing on board the BRA to turnaround this operation.

The task for the BRA according to the published statement from ZCCM IH entails the rollout of restructuring proposals in the Scheme of Arrangement which include:

  1. The creation of a New Company (NewCo);
  2. The restructuring of the liabilities of NLC;
  3. The transfer of the assets and business of Ndola Lime to the NewCo;
  4. Retrench, pay and transfer the employees of NLC to the NewCo; and,
  5. Dissolve NLC with or without winding up.

The new company is a vehicle that is being used as part of the road map to financial health. The management team is well aware that there was need to start life anew for this segment of their portfolio and hence why the NewCo has been incorporated and is known as Limestone Resources Limited (LRL) 100% owned by ZCCM-IH.

According to their published statement, “at a Final Creditors Meeting held on the 10th June 2020, the creditors passed a special resolution to approve the Restructuring Proposals as contained in the Scheme of Arrangement and the main objectives of the restructuring plan are for NLC’s successor company, LRL, to commence operations on a clean slate, debt-free, recruit a new management to spearhead the re-orientation of strategy and operations without any legacy problems associated with NLC”.

Limestone Resources Limited begins life anew and will address the challenges that were faced in Ndola Lime’s resources and capabilities. Without the institutional memory that Ndola Lime held, the management team at LRL can choose to cut the losses of Ndola lime and attract fresh capital to revamp the business. Furthermore, LRL can adopt its own business strategy that can relook at the manufacturing of quicklime (calcium oxide), slaked lime (calcium hydroxide), cement, and mortar which are typical limestone business segments and carve out the best option going forward that can create value for ZCCM IH. Furthermore, LRL can also decide to partner up with other successful entities in the same sector so that mistakes of the past are avoided.

Investors will be pleased with this move as a way forward for the investment group’s Achilles heel has been found.



Ndola Lime’s metamorphosis to Limestone Resources as shareholder seeks recapitalization

Once upon Limestone giant in Africa’s second largest copper producer, Ndola Lime Company, has undergone drastic metamorphosis in the quest to rally back to profitability. After grappling with insolvency and financial woes amassed over close to a decade on the back of hard core debtors, the limestone producer and once pillar of Ndola is coming back to life. This follows efforts to capitalize, resuscitate and inject back operational resilience into the Copperbelt’s city.  Ndola Lime will now operate under a new name, Limestone Resources Limited – LRL fully owned by Lusaka Securities Exchange mining investment vehicle ZCCM-IH Plc.

Due to negative jaws, NLC has struggled to be a key employer and heart beat of Ndola, a position which it housed together with the likes of Indeni Oil Refinery in times when State Owned Entities – SOEs were still viable. However it is hoped that with the proposed re-strategization, the new legal entity, LRL will seek to drive limestone production as a going concern and will breathe life into the provincial capital of Zambia’s Copperbelt province.

June 10, marked the final turning point for the defunct Ndola Lime Company as a special resolution of creditors was passed to finalise restructure the Limestone producer through a scheme of arrangement plan. The scheme of arrangement provided for creation a new entity, restructure the NLC liabilities, transfer of the NLC business to the new entity, address the remuneration needs of NLC resources with smooth transition to the new entity and dissolution of NLC with or without winding up.  

The meeting established that LRL will commence operations totally free of debt under new management that will re-orient strategy and drive performance harder to profitability and viability. Limestone Resources Ltd shareholders will proceed with capitalization initiatives.

The implication of the metamorphosis is that Ndola Limes business will continue but under a new name whose management is earmarked to commence in 3Q20. 

ZCCM-IH is currently in the process of obtaining statutory and other approvals to facilitate the transition of NLC to LRL.

The processes of approvals, transfer, recruitment and recapitalization are estimated to take half a year from August 2020.

LRL has immense potential to further break into cement production following the ICBC $550million deal that ZCCM-IH signed up with Industrial Commercial Bank of China for a cement plant. Until this is completed, LRL has a readily available market for limestone in the mines.

The Kwacha Arbitrageur