Zambia Nears Selection of Investor for Mopani Copper Mine Acquisition

The Zambian government is edging closer to choosing an investor to take over the operations of Mopani Copper Mines, a decision is expected by the end of this month. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Situmbeko Musokotwane, revealed that the country is currently evaluating bids from four short-listed companies. China’s Zijin Mining Group, Norinco Group, Sibanye Stillwater, and an investment vehicle owned by former Glencore officials are all in contention for the acquisition.

Musokotwane stated, “The competing companies are currently being asked to submit their final bids. By the end of July, the government will select a single investor to proceed with the acquisition. The sale of Mopani Copper Mines comes after country’s majority state-owned ZCCM Investments Holdings agreed in January 2021 to purchase the mine from Glencore. However, the payment of $1 and $1.5 billion in debt is still pending.”

Further to that, he expressed the government’s desire for a swift resolution regarding Konkola Copper Mines. Legal disputes between Vedanta Resources and the Zambian government have hindered progress on the ownership of Konkola, an issue that originated in 2019. The government hopes for a similar timeline in resolving this matter.

As the second-largest copper producer in Africa, the country has ambitious plans to significantly increase its annual copper production. It aims to triple its output to 3 million tons by 2031, highlighting the importance of securing competent investors to develop its mining sector.

With the selection of the investor for Mopani Copper Mines drawing near, Zambia is poised to make a critical decision that will shape the future of its copper industry.


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