Zambia’s mine minister rejects Mopani’s bid to suspend operations

Zambia’s mine minister rejects Mopani’s bid to suspend operations

Zambia’s Mines Minister Richard Musukwa has rejected Glencore subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines’ (MCM) 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.

According to media reports, Mopani plans to appeal against the decision and said it will continue mining operations based on the appeal process outcome. The Minister was quoted saying that the government is open to dialogue as it wants what is best for the people and that the mine is strategic to Zambia’s economic trajectory.

Operations at the company’s mines were stopped early in April this year because of the pandemic and various other problems. However, after a month, mining restarted after receiving severe criticism the Zambian government.

Mopani Copper Mines is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals and the remaining 10% by Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH. In 2018, MCM produced 119,000 tonnes (t) of copper.

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