Mining companies in Zambia have been experiencing trying times in the past twelve months – mainly, erratic power supply and effects of low commodity prices. Nonetheless, in spite of these challenges, Glencore seems to have taken a long-term view about investing in Zambia.
According to a statement from Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), Glencore plans to invest over $1.1-billion in Zambia to sink three shafts with new technology that will extend mine life by over 25 years, its local unit has revealed. “We firmly believe that we shall be able to overcome the challenges that we face today as a company and become profitable and operationally-efficient.” The investments would be made between now and 2018 and it was expected that Mopani would be turned into a world-class mining operation by 2023, says the company. Glencore was fully committed to Mopani and had invested over $3-billion in upgrading infrastructure and in major capital expansion programmes since 2000, Mopani says.
Due to an electricity shortage in Africa’s second-biggest copper producer and weaker prices, there is pressure on Zambia’s mining industry, threatening output, jobs and economic growth.
Information credits: report from Reuters adapted for African Mining Brief Online