Features

Mopani: What does the future hold?

JACK ZIMBA, NKOMBO KACHEMBA
Kitwe
DEEP in the belly of the earth – over one kilometre from the surface – an excavator is angrily scooping huge bucketfuls of copper ore and loading them into a dump truck.
Down in this labyrinth of dank and dark tunnels in Kitwe lies the future of one of the country’s largest copper mines, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), and that of the nation, too.
The new global demand for copper, driven in part by the race to build electric cars, has pushed the price of the metal to attractive levels. The metal was trading at US$8,406 per tonne last week.
And there is insured demand.
Ford Motors announced last week that it plans to go all-electric in Europe by 2030.
Copper producing countries, of which Zambia is the second largest on the continent, producing nearly a million tonnes per year, may be back in business.
But the dust is only just settling at Mopani, after Government, through its investment arm, ZCCM-IH, acquired shares to take over the mine from Swiss mining giant Glencore.
The US$1.5 billion off-taker deal ended months of uncertainty and a vicious row between the mine executives and Government, which affected major capital developments at the mine and threatened job security for over 10,000 workers.
So what does the future hold for Mopani? CLICK TO READ MORE




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