Mopani Copper Mines is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals and 10% by ZCCM-IH (Image Source:Mining.Com)
By Cecilia Jamasmie
Miner and commodities trader Glencore (LON:GLEN) has declared force majeure at its Mopani Copper Mines unit (MCM) in Zambia and plans to suspend operations in the country for three months, mines minister Richard Musukwa said on Tuesday.
Musukwa said he would not let the company proceed with the plan as it had not complied with the law close. He added that the government had also rejected the miner’s attempt to give it less than 24 hours’ notice to lay off more than 11,000 workers, ZNBC News reported.
“The Ministry is not aware of any event that has happened that is beyond the reasonable control of MCM and which makes mining impossible,” Musukwa said.
Glencore, which separated its African copper business from its wider copper operations last year, launched in March a review of MCM aimed at cutting spending. It said at the time that lower copper prices and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic had been take their toll.
Mopani Copper Mines, which produced 119,000 tonnes of copper in 2018, is 73.1% owned by Glencore, 16.9% by First Quantum Minerals and 10% by Zambia’s mining investment arm ZCCM-IH.