Zambia seeks financial adviser for Mopani Copper Mines

Zambia’s state mining investment firm Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines – Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) is on the lookout for a financial adviser to reform Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), reported Reuters.

MCM, which is 100% owned by ZCCM-IH, owns underground mines, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery at Mufulira mine site, open pits, a concentrator and a cobalt plant at Nkana mine site in Kitwe. The investment firm is also seeking a private investor to help boost production at the copper mine.

According to ZCCM-IH board chair Dolika Banda, the appointment of financial adviser is “imminent”. A new equity partner would be announced within the next six months to a year. Since raising $1.5bn in debt to buy MCM in 2021 from Glencore’s subsidiary Carlisa Investments, Zambia has been seeking new investor for the mine to increase output.

Mopani Mines

“To own this mine requires billions of dollars and we can’t continue to be asking the Zambian treasury to be financing exploration, productivity and technology upgrades. ZCCM-IH, however, will continue to help MCM in servicing its loans and working capital, buying inputs in addition to working on “long-term solutions,” Banda noted.

Mopani Mines produces and sells copper and cobalt to the international market, being one of the biggest mines and exporters in the world. In brief history, MCM produced 134,800 tonnes (148,600 short tons) of copper and 2,040 tonnes (2,250 short tons) of cobalt in 2003. At that time, MCM invested in a number of oxide copper projects at several of its properties, including an in-situ leaching project at Mufulira and leaching at Nkana, and has achieved significant production increases at its underground mining operations in Kitwe and Mufulira. Copper production from internal sources was supplemented by the purchase of some 18,000 tonnes (20,000 short tons) of copper in high-grade oxide concentrate bought from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 185,325 tonnes of copper concentrate toll treated from Copper-miner Equinox in 2007.

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