The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has said ZCCM-IH has the capacity to efficiently operate Mopani Copper Mines.IDC Group CEO Mr Mateyo Kaluba said the mining company’s Board of Directors and Management would be competent enough to professionally run the newly acquired mine.
“In terms of our confidence that mine will be professionally run, we have no doubt,” Mr Kaluba said, adding that the company would further seek a strategic equity and technical partner to enhance its capacity.
He reiterated that the acquisition of Mopani Copper Mine by ZCCM-IH was consistent with the direction the mining conglomerate was taking to have more control of mining interests in the country. Mr Kaluba said the IDC, as ZCCM-IH’s holding company, was involved through an extensive consultation process to give the necessary guidance and approvals. Regarding the payment of the US$1.5 billion transaction debt by Mopani to Glencore, Mr Kaluba said that the debt was the burden of the mining company itself and not the State.
He added that the mine’s debt as a result of this transaction had no impact on the country’s sovereign debt. Mr Kaluba explained that the deal was structured in such a way that Glencore would be the off taker of Mopani’s copper and that a 10% portion of the proceeds would go towards debt repayment.
He said the debt would be fully paid over the next 10-17 years depending on the mine’s production capacity and fluctuations of the copper prices. Mr Kaluba urged Zambians to be more confident in taking up more challenging assignments, as the government had created an enabling environment where companies such as ZCCM-IH and IDC are able to be more assertive in taking control of national assets.