Barrick’s $1bn Lumwana mine in Zambia attracts Chinese interest

14 October 2019 (Last Updated June 5th, 2020 12:08)

China Minmetals, Jiangxi Copper and Zijin Mining are among the firms weighing to bid for Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold’s Lunwana copper mine in Zambia.

Barrick’s $1bn Lumwana mine in Zambia attracts Chinese interest
The Lumwana mine is expected to produce 210 to 240 million pounds of copper this year. Credit: Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.

China Minmetals, Jiangxi Copper and Zijin Mining are among the firms weighing to bid for Canadian mining firm Barrick Gold’s Lunwana copper mine in Zambia.

If the deal materialises, the mine could be worth approximately $1bn.

China Molybdenum and Aluminum Corp were also invited to take part in the bid.

Barrick is currently working with advisers to draw interest for the mine.

The Lumwana copper mine is a conventional open pit mine, located approximately 100km west of Solwezi town in Zambia’s copperbelt region.

It is expected to produce 210 to 240 million pounds of copper in 2019 and has proven and probable copper reserves of over 4.5 billion pounds.

In August, Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow said that the company is focusing on divesting $1.5bn of assets by the end of the next year.

The Lumwana mine was officially inaugurated in April 2009 by Equinox Minerals.

In April 2011, Barrick Gold signed a support agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Equinox Minerals in a takeover offer valued at C$7.3bn ($7.6bn).

Equinox Minerals was acquired by Barrick Gold in July 2011.

Barrick Gold announced its plans to suspend operations at the mine in 2014 following the Zambian Government’s move to raise mining taxes on open-pit mining operations in the country.

In July, the company signed an agreement to acquire a stake in Acacia Mining.

Meanwhile, Barrick is also working with Bank of Nova Scotia to scout for buyers for its Tongon Gold mine in Côte d’Ivoire.