Zambia’s State-Owned Mopani Copper Mines Reports Deeper $298 Million Loss for FY 2022 Amid Lower Output
Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines, owned by state entity ZCCM Investment Holdings (ZCCM.LZ), has reported a larger financial loss and reduced copper output for the 2022 financial year.
According to an audited financial report released by ZCCM, the company’s losses expanded to $298 million in 2022, compared to $74.2 million in the previous year.
Decline in Copper Output and Maintenance Shutdown
Mopani Copper Mines experienced a decline in copper output, with production dropping to 72,694 tons from 87,618 tons. The decrease can be attributed to a 45-day smelter maintenance shutdown, impacting operations. This decline in output has raised concerns about the financial performance of the company.
Search for New Investors
In an effort to secure new investors and revitalise Mopani Mines, ZCCM has enlisted the services of Rothschild & Co. The company has shortlisted potential buyers, including China’s Zijin Mining Group (601899.SS) and Sibanye Stillwater (SSWJ.J), according to Reuters sources. The selection process for a new investor is expected to be finalized within the next two months, as stated by ZCCM CEO Ndoba Vibetti.
Expansion Plans and Financial Requirements
The appointment of a new investor is crucial for Mopani’s future, as it aligns with the company’s plans to complete and commission expansion projects. ZCCM highlighted the significance of these projects in achieving a ramped-up production profile, with full capacity expected by 2027. To fulfill these expansion plans and increase copper output to over 200,000 tons, Mopani requires $300 million over the next three years. Additionally, an additional $150 million is necessary to sustain ongoing operations during the same period.
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