Lusaka ~ Wed, 20 Jan 2021

By Brightwell Chabusha

The Zambian government has acted to save thousands of jobs on the Copperbelt by taking over operations at Mopani Copper Mines.

Glencore, which owned majority shareholding in Mopani, had planned to place the mine under care and maintenance claiming low copper prices.

But the government quickly came in through the ZCCM-IH to take over the mine to avert possible job losses on the Copperbelt.

ZCCM-IH has agreed to buy Glencore’s majority stake in Mopani Copper Mines in a $1.5 billion deal funded by debt.

The entity is also expected to seek a new investor, Mines Minister Richard Musukwa revealed at a briefing on Tuesday.

Last year, Glencore attempted to suspend operations at Mopani because of low copper prices and COVID-19 disruptions, prompting a government threat to revoke the company’s mining licences.

Mr Musukwa said during a briefing today that more than 15,000 workers would have lost their jobs if the mine was closed.

Musukwa said the country will try to attract a new investor in Mopani, adding that companies from Britain, Canada, China, South Africa, Turkey and Qatar have expressed interest.

The minister said Mopani produced 34,479 tonnes of copper last year, up 14.6% from 2019, and the expansion projects will boost output beyond 150,000 tonnes a year.

Glencore said it holds 73% of Mopani through an 81.2% stake in Carlis.

Under the deal, ZCCM-IH will acquire the remaining 90% of Mopani from Carlisa, giving it full control of the company for an indicative $1.

Mr Musukwa said ZCCM-IH will repay the loan in 10-17 years depending on copper prices, which are currently near their highest in eight years at about $8,000 a tonne.

Asked how Zambia can afford to take on more debt, a mines ministry official said: “It’s not sitting on the ministry of finance. The company is able to pay on its own.”


  1. Styles

    Welcome back ZCCM!! 😅 LONG OVERDUE.

    • KAINDE

      Fikapwa….. We will come and sale it back and get our kickbacks again.

  2. Concerned citizen amplified

    That’s the way to go .

    • PF Cadre

      Tumone nga mukakwanisha. Ngapalya ponse ninshi tamwapokela ama Mine. Copper ileya chilabushiku but ubupina nipamushi.

  3. Zambian

    Hakainde has already started looking for a buyer. Watch that guy . He is good at selling assets.

  4. bonkus

    When UPND comes back….FIKAPWA. Tukashitisha again!!

  5. Zedpeople

    We have become addicted to Kaloba, said from the angle. However, for the miners it is good that they will work for another day.

  6. PF Cadre

    But Musukwa says they are seeking a new investor? What is the meaning of all this? Politics indeed.

  7. Lix

    The best investors are Australians and Canadians not South Africans and the Chinese!

  8. Pafa

    Just create new mine to all district and employee many youth like mfuwe. chongwe. Itezhitezhi shangombo mumbwa mukushi like our father k. K did

  9. Jahman metal

    Political stories are very surprising.

  10. Prince Yona

    Lets believe in God and ourselves that we can do it…zed one

  11. Truth man

    Kafue Nitrogen chemicals where are we with it? Mulungushi Textiles where are we with it? We failed to run the mines during UNIP days today can we make it I will wait and see!

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