Mining operations to resume temporarily, as copper price recovers

12 May 2020

Mining Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), a subsidiary of Glencore Zambia, announced last week it plans to resume mining operations for the next 90 days. 

The local firm noted however, that original plans to put operation on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic are still in place. 

In a statement, Mopani said that productive talks had taken place with the Zambian government.

“During the 90-day period, Mopani will continue to engage with the government on potential solutions to its current challenges,” the statement said. 

Minister for Mining Richard Musukwa said that the government will continue to host discussions with Mopani in order to understand what the mining company was facing, and ensure that a sustainable solution is reached. 

“A multisectoral team will work with Mopani to critically analyse the entire mine value chain to structure a survival plan,” said Musukwa in a statement.

The Minister also added that the Zambian government will continue to establish a favorable environment for investment, in order to encourage sustainability and growth in the mining sector at reduced costs.

Mopani said that the health and safety of its employees and the communities surrounding them was of utmost importance. The Zambian-registered copper mining company also stated it plans to communicate with its workforce, relevant contractors and local communities in order to establish when operations will resume exactly. 

Copper is Zambia’s main source of export revenue. On Monday, the price of copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) jumped to an eight-week high, as hopes for increased demand boosted the precious metal, amid lockdown measures being eased in several countries around the world. 

Copper was seen recovering after weeks of mounting pressure led by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has battered economies worldwide. 

The three-month copper price on the LME was seen climbing as much as 1.8% to US$5,370 a tonne.