Zambia’s mining investment division ZCCM-IH is reportedly seeking a ‘controlling stake’ in Glencore subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), according to the country’s Mines Minister Richard Musukwa.
The latest move comes after a disagreement over Glencore’s plan to suspend production, Reuters reported.
Mopani Copper Mines is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals and the remaining 10% by ZCCM-IH.
Musukwa said that a 10% stake was ‘not sufficient’ to determine MCM’s future and noted that Zambia’s mining investment unit was, therefore, seeking a larger stake to hold a controlling interest in Mopani.
For ZCCM-IH to own a majority stake in Mopani, Glencore should sell more than 41% of the company to the former.
Musukwa added that the Zambian Government is working closely with labour unions and suppliers to ensure continued operations during the talks.
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Last month, Musukwa rejected MCM’s proposal to suspend operations due to low copper prices as a result of the interruptions to transportation and supply chains caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
In April, Zambia intended to revoke the mining licences of MCM as the firm did not give sufficient notice before suspending its mining operations due to the Covid-19 crisis.
In the same month, Glencore launched a $25m fund in response to the pandemic.