Glencore in talks with ZCCM-IH over Zambia’s Mopani Mines
Glencore is the majority owner of Mopani Copper Mines, with a 73.1% stake. The Canadian concern First Quantum Minerals owns 16.9%, and ZCCM-IH owns one-tenth of the enterprise. Glencore and Zambia’s minister for mining, Richard Musukwa, announced at a media briefing on Tuesday that ZCCM-IH has submitted an expression of interest to acquire additional shares in Mopani Copper Mines. Glencore has given its approval to this move.
Mr Musukwa commented: "The government has constituted a team to liaise with ZCCM-IH for the negotiations with Glencore. Furthermore, ZCCM-IH is in the process of engaging a transaction advisor".
Glencore has released a statement confirming that discussions with ZCCM-IH and other parties were progressing. It has not yet been announced how many shares the Zambian company intends to acquire.
The relationship between Mopani’s majority owner and its representatives in Zambia has become strained of late. In April Glencore announced that it planned to halt operations at Mopani, and place the mine on care and maintenance. The Zambian government reacted angrily to this, claiming that they had not been given ample notice. A threat was made to revoke Glencore’s licence in the country. In May Mopani announced that it would resume operations for 90 days.
Mopani Copper Mines PLC was state-owned until its privatisation in 2000. The company has mine sites in the Copperbelt of central Zambia, at Mufulira and Nkana. Its corporate head office is in Kitwe, close to the Nkana assets. Nkana and Mufulira have both been in operation since the 1930s.
Unmanned train to allow Vale to reopen iron ore plant
Brazilian miner Vale SA will be able to resume operations at its Timbopeba iron ore dry processing plant in up to two months thanks to the use of an unmanned train, the company said in a statement this week.
Vale - Timbopeba iro ore plant
With the train, Timbopeba will be able to operate at least at 80% of its capacity of 33,000 tonnes of iron ore “fines” per day, reports Reuters.
Vale was forced to shut down the plant in the Alegria mine complex recently after labor authorities in Minas Gerais state banned activities close to the Xingu dam due to concerns of a risk of collapse.
Vale said access by workers and vehicles continues to be suspended in the flood zone of the dam due to the ban even though it remains at emergency level 2, which means there no imminent risk of rupture.
But some workers are allowed entry under strict security precautions and they will get the unmanned train going once it has been tested, which would take between one and two months, the company said.
The unmanned train will travel automatically along 16 kilometers (10 miles) of track operated by a system that can control the speed and activate the brakes, Vale said.
Vale announces first ore at Voisey’s Bay mine extension
Vale has reached the milestone of first ore production at the Reid Brook deposit at the Voisey’s Bay mine expansion project in Northern Labrador, Canada - recognised as the safest mine in Canada.