LUSAKA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Tuesday officially acquired a large stake in Mopani Copper Mines from Glencore.
The government, through its investment agency in mining firms, Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), completed its 90 percent stake in the mine during a ceremony held in Lusaka, the country's capital. This brings the shareholding to 100 percent since the agency held 10 percent previously.
The 90 percent were previously owned by Carlisa Investments Corporation representing Glencore with 73.1 percent and First Quantum Minerals with 16.9 percent.
Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa said the 4.8 billion dollars loan owned by Mopani Copper Mines has been agreed and reduced to 1.5 billion dollars.
He said the loan would be repaid through an off-take agreement granted to Glencore International using 10 percent of the production.
According to him, the transaction was significant as it guarantees job security for the workers, adding that the mine has a copper resource of about 280 million tons and a lifespan of 25 years.
ZCCM-IH chairperson Eric Silwamba said the priority will now be to turn the mine around and ensure sustained production.
The sale comes after Glencore last year tried to suspend operations at Mopani due to low copper prices and COVID-19 disruptions, angering the government, which threatened to revoke the company's mining licenses. Enditem