Mopani To Resume Mining Operations As Soon As Government Approves Its Latest Proposal

By Michael Kaluba

Mopani copper mines plc has confirmed that it has submitted a proposal to government and would resume mining operations as soon as an agreement is reached.

Mopani copper mines public relations manager Nebert Mulenga who revealed this to phoenix news says the mining firm will issue a notice of its intention to place its mining operations on care and maintenance after 90 days.

He says

during the 90 day period, Mopani copper mines plc will continue to engage with the government on potential solutions to its current challenges.

This decision comes after the mine went against government’s directive not to place its Mufulira and Kitwe mines on care and maintenance which was followed by a 7-day ultimatum from the state couple with mine unions led protests in Kitwe.

Glencore to report Zambia Copper mines pending agreement with government

Anglo American is facing a huge class lawsuit for its past corporate practices over lead poisoning in Zambia’s Kabwe town.

Johannesburg-based attorneys Mbuyisa Moleele and London-based human rights law firm Leigh Day are preparing the case and an application to certify a class action will be filed in the Johannesburg High Court.

This is seen as a necessary first step in a class action against Anglo-American.

Indian mining giant Vedanta Resources which the Zambian government does not want anymore, is also connected to Anglo Americans.

The case of lead contamination involving Anglo stems from health issues linked to Kabwe, which Leigh Day said in a statement was once the world’s largest lead mine and operated from around 1915 until its closure in 1994. The law firm said Anglo owned and operated the mine from 1925 to 1974.

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However, the diversified miner argues that the operation was nationalized and has been operated by the government for two decades.

Anglo American was one of the six companies involved in the R5bn silicosis class-action case in SA brought on behalf of former gold miners made ill by inhaling silica dust.

“The purpose of the action will be to secure compensation for victims of lead poisoning, including the cost of an effective medical monitoring system for blood lead levels among the community,” the two firms said in a statement on Friday.

They argue the mine was “owned and operated and/or managed” by Anglo American SA between 1925 and 1974 — the operation’s “most productive period”.

“It is alleged that from 1925 to 1974, Anglo American SA played a key role in the management of the medical, engineering and other technical services at the mine, and that it failed to take adequate steps to prevent lead poisoning of the local residents,” the lawyers said.

The mine was closed in 1994, after it was nationalised and taken from Anglo in 1974.

In its defence, Anglo said on Friday it was “one of a number of investors in the company that owned the Kabwe mine”.

“Anglo American was, however, at all times, far from being a majority owner. In the early 1970s, the company that owned the mine was nationalised by the government of Zambia and for more than 20 years thereafter the mine was operated by a state-owned body until its closure in 1994,” the London-based miner said.

“Since the nationalisation more than 40 years ago effectively placed these issues under the control of the Zambian government, we are not in a position to comment further about the matter, but we certainly don’t believe that Anglo American is in any way responsible for the current situation.”

The Human Rights Watch has published a report that puts Kabwe as the most toxic town, having disastrous effects on children’s health.

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CANCEL ALL LETTERS-MUZ

The Mineworkers Union of Zambia -MUZ- has demanded that Mopani Copper Mines plc cancels all letters given to miners when they placed the mine on care and maintenance as the mine owners seek dialogue with government.

MUZ President Joseph Chewe has told ZNBC News in Kitwe that Glencore, the owners of Mopani Copper Mines have engaged President Edgar Lungu seeking dialogue in view of the happenings at the mine.

Mr. Chewe has also demanded that Mopani Copper Mines apologizes to all miners who received letters.

He said the petition sent to President Edgar Lungu by mine unions when they held a peaceful protest demanding the restoration of all workers or have Mopani Copper Mines license revoked has been received.

Mr. Chewe stated that from the dialogue, mine unions want all workers to get back to work and that Mopani Copper Mines be given strict conditions that will stop them from engaging in activities that put workers’ jobs at risk.

Government give Mopani Copper Mines a 7 days ultimatum before Revoking their Mining Licence

The government has given Mopani Copper Mines a Seven Day ultimatum to show cause why its large-scale mining licences for Mufulira and Kitwe must NOT be revoked.

This follows Mopani Copper Mines alleged breach of provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act and the Employment Code Act.

This is according to a letter to Mopani Copper Mines, Chief Executive Officer, Nathan Bullock from Mining Licensing Committee Secretary Micheal Chibonga and made available to ZNBC News.

Mr Chibonga said the committee is in receipt of investigations report by the Director of Mines which has established that the mines have proceeded to place the NKANA and Mufulira Mines on Care and Maintenance.

He said this is without giving sufficient notice as required by law and in total defiance of the directive against such action, and the employees have already been given letters.

Mr Chibonga says it has also been established that all critical contracts for mining services and suppliers have been terminated with immediate effect.

He said the Mining Licensing Committee intends to revoke the large-scale mining licences for Nkana and Mufulira mine in accordnace with the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2015.

Mr Chibonga said the Mine also breached section 37 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2015 by defying the directive by the Director of Mines to resume mining operations

Mopani Copper Mines to review spending in the midst of the coronavirus threat

Mopani Copper Mines, a Zambia subsidiary of Glencore is set to do a comprehensive review which aims to minimise cash outflow to guard against uncertainty caused by the threat of coronavirus

“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 and 10% by Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH.

Source: Zambia Mining Magazine

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

Mopani Rubbishes Transfer Of Procurement Office To South Africa

Mopani Copper Mines Plc has disputed media reports suggesting that the mining giant plans to move its procurement offices to South Africa.

Last week, local contractors and mine suppliers staged a protest demanding that Mopani rescinds its decision to move the procurement office to South Africa.

But Mopani Copper Mines Plc Public Relations Manager Nebert Mulenga has stated in a statement that the claims are false.

Mulenga said all business decisions and operations of Local Contractors will be managed by a local team at Mopani.

He has stated that Mopani has since introduced a Zambia Contract Ownership Development Initiative aimed at promoting participation of local contractors.

Mulenga added that Mopani believes the initiative will help grow the Zambian economy with the participation of local contractors in the sector.

Source: Zambia Reports 

MUZ Goes Ahead To Sign 7% Salary Increment For Workers, Despite It Being Rejected

The Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ) and other unions have signed the 2020 collective agreement with Mopani Copper Mines at 7% despite the percentage being rejected by miners.

This follows a week of rejection, threats to pull out their membership by miners who expressed displeasure with the 7% salary increment and K500 cushion allowance.

MUZ President Joseph Chewe, Friday afternoon addressed mopani workers before proceeding to sign the collective agreement.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Chewe said the unions were signing the collective agreement unhappy because workers had rejected the percentage.

He was however worried that the displeasure shown by workers could result in low production due to lack of motivation.

Chewe later appealed to Mopani Copper Mine Plc to relook into the new change of shifts which he said has hit miners who used to benefit from overtime pay.

Miners will now work 12 hour shifts of 4 days in a week from 8 hour shifts of 6 days in a week which came with overtime.

Source: Zambia Reports 

Mopani Copper Mines Plc Extract from 2019 Annual Report

During the financial year ending 31st December 2018, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) recorded net revenue of ZMW9.43billion (US$842.04 million) (2017: ZMW3.95 billion US$352.60 million).
The net loss for the period under review was at ZMW8.09 billion (US$ 722.85 million) (2017: ZMW2.77 billion US$ 290.12 million net loss).
During the year ending 31st December 2018, MCM produced a total of 59,302 tonnes of copper from own sources and 60,188 tonnes of copper from external third-party concentrates (2017:
41,738 tonnes from own sources and 57,131 tonnes of copper from third party concentrates). The significant growth in revenue is attributable to the scheduled increase in production at the recently developed mine sites.
Through gearing, MCM initiated heavy capital expenditure projects in efforts of developing the Mufulira Deeps and the Synclinorium Shaft over the last financial years. This has resulted in finance costs reducing net profits for the period under review amongst other factors. The value of shareholder loans as at 31st December 2018 was ZMW39.53 billion (US$ 3,242.66
million).
With working capital balances excluding VAT at a 5-year low of ZMW 792.35 million (US$ 65.00 million) as at 31st December 2018, cash constraints have affected the ability to scale
production at the newly commissioned mine sites to optimal levels.
There were no dividends paid during the financial year ended 31st December 2018 (2017: Nil).

Mopani Appoints Bullock as New CEO

MOPANI Copper Mines has announced the appointment of Nathan Bullock as its new chief executive officer.

Bullock takes over from Chris Vermeulen who left the mining giant in July this year.

Mopani public relations manager Nebert Mulenga made the announcement in a statement yesterday.

“Mopani Copper Mines Plc is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Nathan Bullock, who joins the company from BHP Olympic Dam Mine in Australia. Mr Bullock takes over from Mr Chris Vermeulen, who left Mopani Copper Mines Plc in July 2019. The new Chief Executive Officer has since taken up his appointment and will be based at the head office in Kitwe. Mopani Copper Mines Plc Chief Services Officer, Mrs Senga Chitoshi, announced the appointment and arrival of Mr Bullock in a statement to the employees on Friday, 8 November 2019,” stated Mulenga.

“Mr Bullock, a geologist who holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) in Applied Geology and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Geoscience, both from Queensland University of Technology, has a range of experience in mining and processing; including strategic planning, underground technical, concentrators and smelting/refining operations. He has also previously worked at Glencore’s Mount Isa Copper Mine and Ernest Henry Mine in Australia in a number of management roles.”