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Copper: China About to Secure a New Mine in Africa

Thursday, 20 June 2024 20:06
Copper: China About to Secure a New Mine in Africa

(Ecofin Agency) - China is one of the main foreign investors active in Africa's mining sector. With a presence in several copper mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, Chinese companies constantly seek new assets, as competition mounts.

Chinese firm JCHX Mining is on the verge of closing the purchase of the Lubambe copper mine in Zambia. This was reported by Reuters which noted that the Emirati International Resources Holding (IRH) exited the race to buy the project. 

In March 2023, the Emirati revealed it wanted to acquire the asset. At the time, EMR Capital, the owner, and JCHX already had a deal. If successful, Chinese investors would record a new win. 

Zambia is Africa's second-largest copper producer, with around 700,000 tonnes of copper produced by its mines in 2023. The government, which holds a 20% stake in the Lubambe project, aims to increase the country's annual production to 3 million tonnes by 2030 and is seeking investments to achieve this goal.

Competition to grow further

China should face greater competition in coming years as more and more companies are eager to secure Africa’s minerals, especially those essential to the energy transition; a dynamic spurred by a growing demand for these minerals. Last year, IRH outbid Chinese company Zijin Mining, acquiring Mopani Copper Mines' assets in Zambia. The Emirati acquired a majority stake in Mopani Copper Mines through a $1.1 billion investment and plans to dedicate $1 billion to other mining asset acquisitions in Africa this year.

Africa hosts approximately 30% of the world's strategic mineral reserves, including copper, cobalt, and lithium.



Public Management

ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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