Zambia hands over Mopani mine to UAE firm


  • World
  • Friday, 22 Mar 2024

LUSAKA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Zambian on Thursday officially handed over Mopani Copper Mines to International Resources Holding Limited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

International Resources Holding Limited was chosen as a strategic partner in December last year after emerging as the preferred bidder. President Hakainde Hichilema said that the new partner would revive the mine's operations, which had become stagnant due to inactivity.

"We would like to thank International Resources Holding for the decision to invest in Zambia. But this is not by chance but a deliberate decision that was undertaken," he said at a handover ceremony held in Kitwe city in the Copperbelt Province.

Underlining the unfortunate deterioration of Mopani's assets in recent years, Hichilema said the mine would not only receive a capital injection from the new partner but also substantial debt reduction. He added that this decision would lead to an increase in production, which had significantly declined, thereby creating more jobs and business opportunities.

Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of International Resources Holding Limited, said his firm is committed to its investment in the mine as well as being ready to overcome any challenges that may arise on the way.

Since assuming control of Mopani from Glencore, a Swiss multinational commodity trading and mining company, in 2021, Zambia has actively sought a new investor for the assets. This move followed an agreement to pay Glencore 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in a debt-funded deal.

Under the agreement, the UAE firm will acquire 51 percent shares in Mopani, with the Zambian government retaining the remaining 49 percent.

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