Glencore Plans Exit From Mopani

Glencore will likely sell its entire 73.1% stake in Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines to the government’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH rather than becoming a minority stakeholder, two sources with direct knowledge told Reuters.

Zambia and Swiss-based Glencore are at “cross purposes” over Mopani, Zambian Mines Minister Richard Musukwa had said on Tuesday when he announced ZCCM-IH aims to increase its shareholding in Mopani to 51% “or even more”, from 10% currently.

Glencore’s plans to put Mopani on care and maintenance prompted the Zambian government to threaten in April to revoke the firm’s mining licences.

Two sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Glencore is looking to exit the asset entirely.

“As of now, we are discussing a potential sale of their stake in Mopani,” said one of the sources.

A Glencore spokesman declined to comment. First Quantum , which owns 16.9% of Mopani, did not respond to a request for comment.

The move by ZCCM-IH to take control of Mopani is part of its strategy shift away from minority stakes and towards running mines as an operator.

Glencore wrote off the value of Mopani by $1.144 billion in its half-year earnings report earlier this month, saying the estimated recoverable value was $704 million, including tax receivables.

Mopani’s total liabilities exceeded its total assets by $2.562 billion in 2019, the company reported in a financial statement, indicating “a material uncertainty in relation to the going concern assumption”.

Mopani produced 51,275 tonnes of finished copper in 2019 including purchased materials – accounting for 13.9% of Glencore’s African copper output and 3.7% of its overall copper output.

Glencore, which reported a first-half loss due to the impact of the pandemic, will not reap the benefits of billions spent on expansion projects over the last three years if it sells to ZCCM-IH but investors see this as a way for the miner to cut its losses.

“Mopani has been a big headache for Glencore, the mine has never delivered anything for shareholders,” a Glencore shareholder, who asked not to be identified, said, citing numerous accidents and operational issues.


  1. observer

    Simple . Just ask that man to negotiate for the buy out. But he must himself become a shareholder and Director. On top of that HE may want Nkana and Shinde Stadia for himself. Clever negotiator he is.

  2. Almighty

    If it is true that HH sold the Mines as people claim just change ZCCM -IH to ZCCM-HH and make hime a Director.

  3. Truth man

    This will be the end of Mopani in Zambia and back to the old days when ZCCM could even fail to buy wheel barrows. The Government had failed to run the mines under ZCCM , now they want to go back, take over and fail.We are going to be in big trouble again in this country like the UNIP days.

    • Webby hayinji

      It can be better for zccm to run the mines than tu mopani utuchushafye abantu with Zambian contractors.

  4. JMS

    Upnd has a proper democratic regime, and just need refused that upnd can’t manage and are trying their best maybe can change to it but unfortunately can’t because changing from capitalist to democracy needs to have a proper persn or an Economist who will change the senario through proper management not of just having degrees.many accumulated them through reading where the so called grade nines have been neglected.(also a truthful talk means a hable and honest person ), this will mean changing laws to discourage low grades from performing, you saw what happened in city market, you create a law and bring in a lower class where they protested.incredible.

  5. Pauline


  6. felix

    wonderful development

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