JCHX Closes in on Acquisition of Zambian Lubambe Copper Mine

JCHX is a Chinese mining company headquartered in Shanghai and has been in talks to acquire the Lubambe Copper Mine (LCM) since 2023. According to sources close to the deal, the acquisition is nearing its close and should be completed ‘within weeks.’

During the course of the negotiation, another contender threw a spanner in the works. Indeed, International Resources Holding (IRH) also expressed interest at some point. It is worth noting that IRH is a subsidiary of UAE most valuable company, International Holding Company (IHC). Needless to say that the competition had deep pockets and appeared favorite to win over the deal.

For ‘undisclosed reasons’, IRH eventually decided to bow out of the deal, leaving the asset pretty much in the hands of the Chinese company. At this stage, JCHX is set to buy the 80% shareholding in Lubambe mine held by EMR Capital.

“We are happy to state the transaction as announced is on track and we anticipate to be closing in coming weeks. Some elements of the process are not within our control.”

EMR Capital CEO Jason Chang
EMR Capital and JXHX Signed Strategic Cooperation MOU in March 2024
EMR Capital and JCHX Signed Strategic Cooperation MOU in March 2024

Both China and UAE are jockeying for position to secure supply of #CritcalMinerals in Africa in order to guarantee a successful #EnergyTransition. In fact, IRH recently bought a 51% stake in another Zambian copper mine in Mopani.

With nearly one million tonnes of copper produced annually, Zambia is ranked as Africa’s second largest copper producer behind the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a matter of fact, Zambia is famous for its Copperbelt region which contain rich reserves of copper ores.

Lubambe Copper Mine
Lubambe Copper Mine

Last year, the Lubambe Copper Mine (LCM) produced 15,000 tonnes of copper. JCHX plans to inject fresh capital to augment the output to 30,000 tonnes annually in the near future.

According to details which have been made public, JCHX will pay a token $1 to EMR Capital for the 80% stake, while taking over the debt estimated at USD 857 million.

As part the deal, the Government of Zambia will retain a 20% stake in Lubambe mine via the state-owned enterprise (SOE) ZCCM-IH. As for all transactions involving strategic assets, the sale of the copper mine is subject to regulatory approval from the Zambian authorities.