Chinese mining giant, CHX Mining, reportedly close to buying Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine


CHX Mining,a Chinese mining giant is reportedly close to concluding a deal to buy Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine.

According Reuters, seen by Zambia Monitor on Wednesday on Mining.Com, is the latest in a string of copper deals by Chinese company’s intent on growing their control of the Africa copper mining industry.

The Shanghai-listed mining services and contracting firm’s deal to buy an 80 percent stake in Lubambe mine held by EMR Capital is now nearing completion.

JCHX’s plans had almost been scuppered after cash-rich Abu Dhabi upstart International Resources Holding (IRH) had been poised to be an interloper after announcing its interest in the same assets earlier this year.

IRH is a unit of the United Arab Emirates’ most valuable company, International Holding Company that recently bought 51 percent shares in Mopani Copper Mine (MCM).

Since then, however, the sources said IRH has bowed out, leaving JCHX with a clear path to close the deal in the coming weeks.

Read more:Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company targets struggling Lubambe mine

As energy transition unfolds, China and the Middle East have featured heavily in a race to tap Africa’s reserves of critical raw materials needed to power a move away from fossil fuels with oil powers starting to emulate China’s years of investment.

“We are happy to state the transaction as announced is on track and we anticipate to be closing in coming weeks,” Jason Chang, the chief executive for EMR, told Reuters.

He admitted that some elements of the process are not within the company’s control.

JCHX is finalizing details of the purchase with Zambian authorities, having reached an agreement with EMR, one of the sources said.

EMR, which has owned the Lubambe mine since 2017, wants to exit the project as its funds mature, after Covid-19 delayed its development, Reuters reported in March.

EMR also sold its entire stake in the adjacent Mingomba copper project for a sizable, undisclosed amount to California-based start up KoBold Metals.

Zambia, Africa’s second largest copper producer, will hold a 30 percent stake in the Lubambe assets through state firm ZCCM-IH, Hapenga Kabeta, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of mines, told Reuters.

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