Mufulira’s Kankoyo Member of Parliament Heartson Mabeta has rejected the proposed offer by South African-based company owned by a Zambian, Bizwell Mutale, to purchase Mopani Copper Mines. The rejection was made in a letter addressed to Rothschild and Company, the appointed consultants who are helping Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) find interested parties. The letter, which was dated December 30, 2022, proposed that US $2.8 billion would be offered for an outright purchase and ownership of Mopani Copper Mines in Kitwe and Mufulira, with $1 billion channeled to Mopani Copper Mine internal operations as recapitalization.
However, Mr. Mabeta has charged that Mr. Mutale’s offer to take over Mopani should be ignored. The Kankoyo lawmaker stated, “A company registered just a few months ago has no capacity and experience to revamp operations at Mopani for the benefit of the people of Mufulira for the next 40 years to come.” He added, “The New Dawn Government is working on something that will not only make the people of Mufulira and Kitwe proud but a base on which other mining companies will strive to achieve.”
Mr. Mabeta also noted that as the government is getting closer to the conclusion of the deal on Mopani, “enemies of progress are not sleeping as they know that what is coming to Mopani will automatically declare them politically dead forever.” He encouraged the consultants to “ignore the 2.8 billion dollars cash to invest in Mopani by Mr Bizwell Mutale with his MKP South Africa United Kingdom Ltd registered on 9th July 2021.”
ZCCM-IH acquired 90% of the shares in Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) from Carlisa Investment Corporation, owned by Glencore and First Quantum Minerals, following approval by ZCCM-IH shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 31 March 2021. The amount negotiated was $1.5 billion to be repaid annually over a period of 10 to 17 years. Then ZCCM-IH Chief Executive Mabvuto Chipata said, “With increased ownership, ZCCM-IH would now be an active participant in the global industry as copper becomes a critical metal.”
In conclusion, the proposed offer by Bizwell Mutale’s company to purchase Mopani Copper Mines has been rejected by Mufulira’s Kankoyo Member of Parliament Heartson Mabeta. The New Dawn government is working on a plan that will benefit the people of Mufulira and Kitwe for the next 40 years and beyond. ZCCM-IH remains committed to finding a new investor for Mopani by the end of 2021 as it looks to boost copper output from a little more than 34,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes.