Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has appointed Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) as financial advisor as the government searches for a new investor to expand the copper mine and smelter, the company’s state-appointed provisional liquidator said on Wednesday.
Zambia’s previous government put KCM in the hands of a liquidator in May 2019, triggering a legal dispute with Vedanta Resources, KCM’s parent company. Zambia and Vedanta agreed this month to seek an out-of-court settlement.
KCM is looking for a new equity partner willing to invest $1.2-billion to expand the mine underground, provisional liquidator Celine Nair said, adding that KCM aims to secure the capital “as soon as possible”.
The appointment of RMB, a division of South Africa’s FirstRand Bank is part of government’s efforts to bring KCM back into full operation, Nair said.
Expanding and upgrading KCM is seen as key for Zambian President Hichilema’s administration, which has set a target of boosting the country’s copper production more than three-fold, to three-million tonnes a year, within the next decade.
Zambia is also seeking a new investor to reboot and expand its Mopani copper mine and smelter, previously owned by Glencore.