HomeBase MetalsMopani mine will stay open

Mopani mine will stay open

Mopani copper mine
in Zambia
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 April 2009 – Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines – which is majority-owned by Swiss commodities trader Glencore International AG – has reversed an earlier decision to halt operations, due to a cost savings plan and higher copper prices.

Reuters reports from the Zambian capital that the government had asked Glencore to surrender the Nkana and Mufulira mines, after it had announced plans to close the loss-making operations temporarily after copper prices had collapsed.

But Mopani – also partly owned by the Zambian government – said subsequently in a statement released here that agreement had been reached by its shareholders to keep the mines open.

“Following a detailed review of its mining, processing and administrative operations, Mopani expects to achieve a significant cost reduction,” the statement said. “This – together with a slightly improved copper price environment – has enabled Mopani to make the decision to continue with its mining operations, rather than place the shafts on care and maintenance,” it added.

Mopani is 73%-owned by Glencore, 17% by First Quantum Minerals Limited, and 10% by the Zambian government.

It has an annual production capacity of 255 000 tonnes of copper metal and 2 000 tonnes of cobalt, according to Glencore’s website.
Caption, Pic 1: Mopani copper mine in Zambia.