- Expertise and experience -
reeing the mining sector from state control meant selling the assets of the state-owned Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) to private investors. ZCCM changed from a mining enterprise to an investment holding company through which the government retains a minority share in the now privatised industry.
The main activity of ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) is now to maximise profits for the government and the 12.4 minority of public shareholders through its participation in the stewardship of the privatized mines. Its activities extend beyond that, however. Our role is not just to monitor the balance sheet, Chairman of ZCCM-IH George Chibuye explains. We work hand in hand with these companies to ensure they succeed.
ZCCM-IH is also active in promoting investment opportunities in the industry and assisting with new ventures. Mr Chibuye says: We are usually at the forefront of facilitating investments because we have the expertise and the experience of the Copperbelt.
data is being collated for the use of potential investors. Basically,
we are looking at the whole country to see how we can create packages
for people to come in and invest in mining-related activities.
ZCCM-IH is listed on both the Lusaka and London stock exchanges. Mr Chibuye says: Right now, as a company, we are holding these shares on behalf of the government, but ultimately we will start offloading our equity through the market so that the public and other institutions can own that portion of equity directly instead of through us.
One of the most important projects in which ZCCM-IH is currently involved is the rejuvenation of the Chambishi underground mine, which is being carried out as a joint venture with China Non Ferrous Metals Mining and Construction Company (NFC). The Chinese government has contributed around £83.4 million through NFC, which is the major partner in the venture, with 85 percent of the shares, while ZCCM-IH holds the remaining 15 percent.
and construction work commenced at the mine in 2000, and production
using state-of-the-art machinery started in July last year. We
have turned the mine around, says Tao Xinghu, Chief
Executive Officer of NFC Africa Mining. It was not doing very
well but we have identified the problems and found ways to solve them.
Copper concentrate from Chambishi will be sold to South Africa and locally to KCM. Later a smelter will be established to produce crude copper for export to China, where there is a shortage of copper. By the end of the year production of copper concentrate is expected to reach 20,000 tons. Projected annual output is around 120,000 tons.
A vital contribution to the mining industry is made by ZCCM-IHs wholly-owned subsidiary Ndola Lime, which produces quick lime, used in controlling water pollution. Other forms of lime are used in construction, agriculture and the sugar industry.
According to Fred Mubiana Mwendabai, the companys Managing Director, the mine has resources for another 80 years, and has the capacity to produce 100,000 tons of lime. Although the company is profitable, lack of investment has limited it to utilising less than half its capacity.
Recapitalisation has started ahead of privatisation and negotiations are under way with preferred bidders. Once focused on supplying the mines of the Copperbelt, the company now also exports its high quality lime to the wider region. The COMESA region has great potential for us, says Mr Mwendabai. Our biggest market is Malawi, followed by Zimbabwe and Tanzania and Congo.
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