Glencore to reopen Zambia copper mines pending agreement with government – by Chris Mfula (Reuters U.S. – April 20, 2020)

LUSAKA (Reuters) – Glencore will reverse its earlier decision to shutter its Zambia subsidiary Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) if it reaches an agreement with the Zambian government, the company said on Monday.

Glencore wanted to shutter the mine due to disruption of its operations by the coronavirus crisis and low copper prices, while the mines minister has said the company is “fishing” for ways to lay off workers, and 11,000 jobs could be at risk.

The miner’s statement came after Zambia’s mines ministry said Glencore had “rescinded” its decision to put MCM on care and maintenance following a video conference between Glencore executives and Zambian ministers.

Glencore’s announcement of the temporary shutdown on April 8 sparked a backlash from the government, which said Glencore did not give it sufficient notice and threatened to revoke MCM’s mining licences.

“If an agreement is reached Mopani will re-start mining operations and issue a notice of its intention to place the mining operations on care and maintenance after 90 days,” Glencore said.

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