UAE’s IRH Invests $1.1B into Zambia Mopani Copper Mines

On 22 December 2023, the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) , a Zambian state-owned enterprise, announced that International Resources Holdings (IRH) of UAE will invest USD 1.1 billion into Mopani Copper Mines. In return, IRH will get a 51% stake in the mining venture.

IRH is a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-based International Holdings Company (IHC) which is currently the company with the largest company in UAE in terms of market capitalization, valued at AED 877 billion (USD 239 billion) as at 22 March 2023.

Mopani Copper Mines PLC Central Offices
Mopani Copper Mines PLC Central Offices

“This venture is a key part of our strategic vision to support and grow high-value assets, as well as to deploy our expertse in fostering resource management that is both responsible and sustainable.”

IRH CEO Syed Basar Shueb

It is to be recalled that ZCCM-IH bought back the Mopani Copper Mine from Glencore in 2021 for the sum of USD 1.5 billion. The money from IRH will partly go t pay outstanding balance owed to Glencore.

A spokesperson of ZCCM-IH revealed that up to USD 400 million will go towards settling the transaction with Glencore. Another USD 620 million will be injected to modernize the mining operations. IRH also made available another USD 80 million as shareholder loan if necessary.

The Mopani copper mine is an open pit mine which produced some 73,000 tonnes of copper in 2022. However, the mine has reported a loss of nearly USD 200 million during 2H23. Mopani Copper Mines plans to use USD 300 million to expand production to 200,000 tonnes within the next three years and to return the accounts into black.