Zambia’s Ministry of Mines has indicated that the country expects to conclude talks over buying Glencore’s stake in Mopani Copper Mines within a month.
“Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines, Barneby Mulenga, expects a deal to be announced in the coming weeks by Mines Minister Richard Musukwa, who said in September that both companies were prepared to sell their entire holding in Mopani”, read a statement in Mining Weekly published on 16th November 2020.
Mopani Copper Mines Plc is a Zambian registered copper mine owned by ZCCM-IH (10%), Glencore Plc (73.1%) and First Quantum Minerals Ltd (16.9%). Recently, reports have been linking the biggest investment company in Zambia by hard assets to possibly increase its stake in the mining company.
According to the ZCCM IH website, “In April 2000, Mopani purchased assets of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Limited (ZCCM) comprising underground mines, a concentrator, a smelter and a refinery at Mufulira mine site and underground mines, open pits, a concentrator and a cobalt plant at Nkana mine site in Kitwe”.
Fast forward to present day, discussions around a deal appear to have matured with the only risk in sight for investors being pressure on the country’s treasury as it seeks to restructure debt facilities with Chinese and Capital markets financiers.
However, the key stakeholder in the discussions appears to be optimistic that a deal will be struck following the latest SENS announcement. “Further to the cautionary announcement date 4th September 2020, shareholders are advised that
ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc wishes to advise Shareholders and the market that the Company’s discussions with Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Ltd regarding the future of Mopani Copper Mines Plc (“Mopani”) are still in progress which, if successfully concluded may have a material impact on the price of the Company’s securities”. The market was made aware of these discussions in the first cautionary note from ZCCM IH that was published early September 2020 implying that the Mabvuto Chipata (CEO ZCCM IH) team has been hard at work focusing on the deal.
“The resource attracts money, so the issue of financing is the least of the worries for the Zambian government,” Mulenga said in an interview on Thursday, referring to Mopani’s copper-mining operations as reported by Mining weekly.