By SANFROSSA MANYINDA
AN exploration firm, Arc Minerals, says the election of President Hakainde Hichilema has been a game changer bringing a promise of more business-friendly policies after his predecessor was seen as antagonistic towards the mining industry.
The firm’s chairperson Mr Nick Schirnding said coming to places like Zambia had become much higher on investors’ agenda.
Arc Minerals owns five copper exploration licences in Zambia.
He said investors had become more tolerant in general, and that the African Copperbelt’s high-grade copper was a reward for the higher risk.
“ You can get three percent to four percent copper in the DRC and Zambia, you can’t get that anywhere else.
“Major mining companies are looking to invest in countries they previously considered too risky, including Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, propelled by a dwindling pipeline of big copper mines elsewhere and record-high prices,” he said.
Mr Schirnding said investor wariness about uncertain regulatory environments, challenging working conditions and corruption had meant some listed companies favoured countries such as Australia or Canada, despite the higher costs of operating there.
He also expressed confidence that the firm will have the capabilities to pursue opportunities that would help increase in management efforts to provide the requirements that may be needed.
Arc Minerals hired investment bank Rothschild in March and Schirndingsaid the company has received expressions of interest from several majors, without giving further details.