Mfikeyi Makayi appointed CEO for KoBold Metals copper unit in Zambia

Mfikeyi Makayi has been appointed CEO to lead KoBold Metals’ copper unit in Zambia making her the first female executive to hold such a position in a mining exploration company in the country.

Mfikeyi Makayi, holds a master’s degree in mining engineering from Britain’s Camborne School of Mines, has worked with Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals and Caterpillar before assuming her current leadership position in Zambia.

The appointment breaks a ceiling as mining is a male-dominated sector. According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence female executives at global metals and mining companies held just over 11% of C-suite positions in 2022.

Copper mining target

In an interview, Makayi expressed her excitement, saying, “I am the first Zambian woman running an exploration or even a mining company in the country… (Mining) is something that will drive our economy into the future if we get this right.”

Zambia is Africa’s second largest copper producer and is witnessing a high demand for copper in the transition to a low-carbon economy. The country is targeting an increase in the country’s copper production to three million tonnes a year by 2032, from around 850,000 tonnes last year.

KoBold has exploration partnerships with mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto and is supported by Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a climate and technology fund founded by Microsoft’s Bill Gates and backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin’s Richard Branson. Its Mingomba copper project in Zambia contains 247 million tonnes of ore with a high grade of copper, and it requires about $1 billion in investment to be built. It is a joint venture with Australian private equity firm EMR Capital and state-backed miner ZCCM-IH.

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