LONDON, Nov 29 (Reuters) – Following the sharp rise in copper prices this year Zambia’s state-controlled firm ZCCM Investments Holdings wants to increase its stakes in the country’s mines and also expects higher dividend payments, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
ZCCM-IH, which was formerly called Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings, has assets of about $1 billion with minority stakes held in the local mine operating subsidiaries of foreign miners including Glencore, First Quantum Minerals, Vedanta and Jinchuan Group International Resources.
Zambia is Africa’s second largest copper producer behind the Democratic Republic of Congo and a 22 percent rise in prices this year has boosted profits for the miners.
“It’s encouraging us to invest even more in copper. That’s why we want to increase our shareholding in some of the assets we have,” CEO Pius Kasolo told Reuters on the sidelines of a mining conference in London.
He would not be drawn on how much money ZCCM-IH would invest in the companies or over what period. “It means every single mining company in Zambia is making a profit so we have to ask ourselves how do we extract that value from this mining company,” he said.