BY SILUMESI MALUMO
ZCCM-IH will mobilise the necessary resources to acquire all 90 percent shares in Mopani Copper Mines which have been offered by Glencore, Minister of Mines and Mineral Development Richard Musukwa has said.
Mr Musukwa disclosed yesterday that Glencore had initially offered Government 90 percent shares and not 73.1 percent.
The minister said the other stake owned by a minority shareholder Calister had been offered to Government by Glencore bringing the shares to 90 percent.
He said ZCCM-IH would ensure that all shares were bought to have total control of the mine.
Mr Musukwa said ZCCM-IH may not have money sitting on its profile now but it would use other vehicles to mobilise the resources.
Government, he said, would not spend any money during the process of acquiring the shares.
The minister said, “ZCCM-IH has stake in various mines and it would use the same platforms to mobilise resources.
“Zambians should not doubt where the money will come from but should organise themselves and look for stakes in Mopani,” he said. Mr Musukwa said Government was also ensuring there was a smooth exit of Glencore so that there can be continued relationship between two parties in near future.
He said Mopani sits on huge deposits of copper which would run for 40 years, therefore, if ZCCM-IH took charge the country would earn meaningful revenue.
He also that the Patriotic Front government wants to correct all the mess brought into the mining sector after privatisation.
Media reports last week indicated that Glencore had reportedly decided to sell its entire 73.1 percent stake in Mopani Copper Mines to ZCCM-IH. This follows Government’s decision to increase its shareholding in Mopani to 51 percent or even more from the current 10 percent.
Glencore’s plans to put Mopani on care and maintenance prompted the government to threaten in April to revoke the firm’s mining licences.
Government objected to the move as it would have thrown thousands of miners on the streets. According to media reports, Glencore is looking to exit the asset entirely.