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MOPANI STARTS SEARCH FOR EQUITY PARTNER

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  • Mr Musukwa said some companies from Turkey, Canada, China, United Kingdom, United States of America, Qatar and South Africa had shown interest in acquiring a stake in MCM.

By SIMON MUNTEMBA

THE process of attracting a strategic equity partner in Mopani Copper Mines has already commenced but yet to be finalized, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Richard Musukwa has said.

Mr Musukwa said some companies from Turkey, Canada, China, United Kingdom, United States of America, Qatar and South Africa had shown interest in acquiring a stake in MCM.

“The strategic equity partner will be expected to help in ramping up productions by completing the lined up projects such as Kitwe synclinoliun shaft and Mindolo Shaft at a total cost of $300 million,” Mr Musukwa said.

And Mr Musukwa said the acquisition of Mopani Copper Mines by the State saved over 15, 000 jobs.

Mr Musukwa said the transfer of Carlisa shares in Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) to ZCCM-IH was prompted by the need to safeguard jobs.

Delivering a ministerial statement in Parliament yesterday, Mr Musukwa also said that the transfer of shares was in line with the Government policy of increasing its stake in some mine houses as espoused in the economic recovery programme that was launched by President Edgar Lungu last December 17.

Updating the House on the recent transfer of Carlisa shares in MCM to ZCCM-IH, Mr Musukwa said it was done to prevent job losses.

“The action has been necessitated by the need to safeguard the jobs of over 15, 000 employees consisting of 6, 000 local direct employees and 9, 000 contractors,” Mr Musukwa said.

The minister also said the transfer of shares was done to prevent the adverse impact of the mine closure which may have a negative bearing on the social and economic welfare of the people of Copperbelt and the nation at large through loss of Government revenue.

He explained that the process of transferring shares started in April 2020 when Glencore International which was a major shareholder in MCM announced its intention of placing the mine under care and maintenance citing a force majeure due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Consequently, he said Government intervened and stopped the action to prevent the loss of the many jobs that were at state.

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