Zambia’s mines minister rejects Mopani suspension plan

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 Reuters, Mopani plans to appeal against the decision and said it will continue mining operations based on the appeal process outcome.

The news agency quoted Musukwa as saying: “We are open to dialogue because we want what’s best for the people of Zambia and Mopani is strategic to [our] 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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