Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie advised ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) on its strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi’s mining champion, International Resources Holding RSC Ltd (IRH), investing through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Delta Mining Limited (Delta).  Delta has acquired a 51% interest in Mopani Copper Mines plc (MCM) and will invest USD 620 million in new equity capital, as well as up to USD 96 million in settlement of existing third-party letters of credit and up to USD 396 million of shareholder loans (the “Transaction”). The transaction sees Glencore exit from its loan to MCM.

The transaction completed on 20 March 2024 and represents a major step for Zambia’s copper mining industry towards the country’s target to achieve three million metric tonnes of copper production per annum by 2030.

ZCCM-IH will retain 49% shares in Mopani, with three out of nine board seats (five by Delta and one by the Government of the Republic of Zambia), and thus continue to participate in the governance of Mopani and have full visibility of its operations.  Mopani is central to the performance of the Zambian Copperbelt, which underlies President Hakainde Hichilema’s economic national development plan for the country. ZCCM-IH took full control of Mopani from Glencore in 2021 and, alongside IRH, will work with Mopani and the Government of the Republic of Zambia to pursue further opportunities in the Zambian mining industry, thus attracting further investment into the region.

Led by corporate partner and chair of Baker McKenzie’s global Energy, Mining, Infrastructure and Projects practice group Richard Blunt, Baker McKenzie’s team included:

  • Transactional Energy team (London): Partners Richard Blunt and Philip Thomson, Senior Associates Andrew Burleigh and Associates Andrew Paget, Priya Shah and Jacob Turner
  • Banking (London): Senior Associate Philippe Bernier-Cormier and James Clarke and Associate Rory Tredwell
  • Tax (London): Partner Oliver Pendred and Associate Thomas Roberts
  • Competition: Partner Lerisha Naidu (Johannesburg), Of Counsel Robert Eriksson (London), Director Designate Angelo Tzarevski (Johannesburg) and Senior Associate Sphesihle Nxumalo (Johannesburg)

Commenting on the transaction, Richard Blunt said: "It was a privilege to work alongside Rothschild and the ZCCM-IH team on the Mopani transaction.  It continues to be fascinating watching the global rush for copper play out, amidst the focus on decarbonisation (and electrification), and to see the Middle East increasingly making its presence felt.  Echoing HE President Hakainde Hichilema’s thoughts at the closing ceremony, we are excited to see what the new dawn for Zambian mining sector will bring.”   

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