Jinchuan Group Resources Buys off Munali Nickel Mine In Zambia

Shareholders of Albidon Limited, co-owners of Zambia’s sole producer nickel, have allowed a 100 percent ‘buy off’ of the company to Jin Tuo Investments limited.

The agreement signed on 15 May last year, ostensibly means that co-owners, Jinchaun Group Resources, with 53 percent shareholding in the company, Albidon Limited, a Toronto Listed miner, have bought off the company through its subsidiary, Jin Tuo.

Jin Tuo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jinchuan Group Resources Holdings limited, which in itself is a majority shareholder of Albidon Limited) of 100 percent has bought the mine at a cash price per share of US$0.0025.

A statement by Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM IH)  Limited and seen by Zambian Mining News said the proposal was made last May to all the shareholders other than Jinchuan Group via a statutory merger pursuant to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) Business Companies Act 2004 (as amended).

The ‘buy off’ entails that Albidon Limited’s shares will now no longer be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), whilst Jin Tuo will be struck off the register of companies in the BVI.

Earlier, Jinchaun Group had invested US$37 million in Munali Nickel Mine, giving it 51.3 percent share ownership with controlling rights.

ZCCM-IH, the Zambian holding company, has in view of the development, commenced discussions with Jinchuan Group Resources to facilitate ZCCM-IH’s continued investment in Albidon Munali Nickel project.

This following the granting to ZCCM-IH of the mining licenses previously held by closed Collum Coal Mining Industries Limited situated in Sinazongwe in Southern province of Zambia on 3May last year, the statement added citing company secretary Chabby Chabala.

ZCCM-IH incorporated Nkandabwe Coal Mines Limited, a 100 percent wholly owned subsidiary to operate the mine until such a time that a strategic investor is identified.

On 12April 2013, ZCCM-IH incorporated Mawe Exploration and Technical services Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary.

The company will play a catalytic role in exploration of base metals and other minerals, oil and gas, the development of local content and beneficiation capabilities, small scale mining development, as well as the provision of attendant quality mining services.

 

In September 2012, the Zambian Government, being the majority shareholder gave approval for the conversion of all or part of the K2 billion debt owed by ZCCM-IH into equity, through a rights issue.

“As part of this exercise, a valuation of ZCCM-IH and its investments was conducted to ascertain the appropriate value of ZCCM-IH shares.

“The balance sheet restructuring exercise is expected to be completed in 2014 and discussions with the Government to agree the terms and conditions of the transaction are currently ongoing.” It said.

An earlier statement by Christopher Yaluma,  Zambia’s mines energy and water development minister  stated that Consolidated Mining and Investments Limited (CMIL) of Britain and Jinchuan Group of China had signed a long-term joint venture agreement to immediately revive operations at Munali nickel mine in Mazabuka which stalled two years ago.

Operations at Zambia’s sole nickel mine situated in Southern Province, were paralysed in 2011 due to plummeting base-metal prices on the global market. The global economic situation led Munali nickel mine which was then co-owned by Jinchuan and Albidon Limited of Australia, into financial crisis forcing its closure.

Yaluma was optimistic that with the development,  the Zambian nickel industry was headed for revival as the two firms had committed to invest substantial investments to revive the operations of the ‘limping mine, fraught with financial problems coupled with natural disasters that affected its operations over two years ago.

“CMIL and Jinchuan have entered into a joint venture to revive Munali Nickel Mine which suspended operations due to financial constraints.

This new equity partner, is an accredited developer of several mines globally and Government is confident that the agreement with Jinchuan will yield the desired benefits for the people of Zambia,” Yaluma added.

Munali nickel mine had before the financial and natural calamities, projected to produce more than 56,000 tons of nickel and later increase outturn to 90,000 given the envisaged investment from the two owners of the mine.

Nickel is used primarily for the alloys it forms and is used for making stainless steel and many other corrosion resistant alloys. Copper-nickel alloy tubing is used in desalination plants. Nickel is used in coinage and for armor plating, according to data available.

When added to glass, nickel gives a green color. Nickel plating is applied to other metals to provide a protective coating. Finely divided nickel is used as a catalyst for hydrogenating vegetable oils. Nickel is also used in ceramics, magnets, and batteries.

Nickel is present in most meteorites. Its presence is often used to distinguish meteorites from other minerals. Iron meteorites (siderites) may contain iron alloyed with 5-20 percent nickel.

Nickel is commercially obtained from pentlandite and pyrrhotite. Major deposits of nickel ore are located in Ontario, Australian, Cuba, and Indonesia

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