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.
AngloGold Ashanti establishes BG Umoja JV in Tanzania
AngloGold Ashanti, in line with it s strategy to ensure a sustainable contribution to the economies of host countries, has established the BG Umoja joint venture (JV), in Tanzania.
Awarded a $186m two-year mining contract for the Nyankanga and Geita Hill underground mining projects, the 80/20 joint venture is a partnership between Africa Underground Mining Services (AUMS) Tanzania, a subsidiary of Australia’s Perenti Group, and local drilling services and mining- supply company, Geofields Tanzania Limited.
The partnership is modelled on a similar underground mining joint venture at the Company’s Obuasi Redevelopment Project in Ghana between AUMS Ghana and Accra-based, wholly Ghanaian-owned Rocksure and will help build local specialised mining capacity.
“We’re working with our experienced mining contractors to assist in establishing local joint ventures for long-term transfer of sustainable skills, and to continue building on our sustainable local procurement programmes,” commented Sicelo Ntuli, AngloGold Ashanti’s Chief Operating Officer: Africa.
“AngloGold Ashanti is building sustainable local procurement programmes that will allow it to stimulate economic and social development at all of its operations, evidenced by the significant contribution Geita has made to the fiscus and people of Tanzania.”
AngloGold Ashanti’s annual expenditure with indigenous Tanzanian suppliers has almost tripled to $162mn since 2016. The company’s local team in Tanzania has set itself an ambitious target of 60% to 70% of all expenditures with indigenous Tanzanian companies, by 2025.
Scope 3 Emissions
In addition, AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita Gold Mine has awarded a two-year fuel transportation contract, worth approximately $10.8m a year, to two local contractors - one of which is originally from Geita. This is in line with the mine’s commitment to contribute to the economies of host communities. The Geita-based company was part of Geita Mine’s supply chain capacity building initiative for host community suppliers, a partnership between the Mine and the National Economic Empowerment Council.
To influence Scope 3 emissions, trucks are to be compliant with EURO IV emissions standards, tankers are to be made of an aluminium alloy material to reduce weight and the age of the fleet will be maintained at less than six years.
Diversity & Inclusion
The contractors already employ women fuel tanker drivers, fulfilling the Mine’s requirements for diversity and inclusion. The two contractors both own workshop facilities in Geita town and participate in social initiatives aimed at uplifting the lives of host community residents.
AngloGold Ashanti has been operating at Geita Gold Mine for more than 20 years, with the project initially a single pit mine, evolving now to a predominantly underground operation, employing 5,700 employees and contractors.
Earlier this year, the Government of Tanzania recognized AngloGold Ashanti’s contribution to the economy of the country, awarding it for its outstanding performance in a number of areas, including environmental and safety performance, corporate social investment, the best taxpayer in the mining sector, the runners up in local business content and overall best performer in the mining sector in Tanzania in 2019/2020.
Geita Gold Mine
Geita, one of AngloGold Ashanti’s flagship mines, is located in north-western Tanzania in the Lake Victoria goldfields of Mwanza region, about 120km from Mwanza and 4km west of the town of Geita. It has been in operation as a large-scale mine since 2000.