Canada should be prepared to scrutinize African copper mine sale, mining veteran says – by Steven Chase (Globe and Mail – October 18, 2023)

A veteran of Canada’s mining industry is warning Ottawa should be prepared to scrutinize the sale of a massive African copper mine with an ownership structure that includes a company incorporated in British Columbia. The Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana is valued at as much as US$2-billion. As many as three Chinese companies with state ties or owners are reportedly in the running to bid for the copper deposit.

Khoemacau Copper Mining is wholly owned by Cuprous Capital Ltd., which has its registered office in Vancouver and was incorporated in B.C. in 2012. Cuprous, in turn, is 88.1 per cent owned by U.S. private equity firm Cupric Canyon Capital LP, a company majority owned by funds managed by London-based Global Natural Resources Investments, and 11.9 per cent by Resource Capital Fund VII LP.

Copper is listed as a critical mineral by the Canadian government and Canada’s most important ally, the United States, has been leading a push to ensure unimpeded access to metals and minerals vital to the economy and leading-edge technology.

Pierre Lassonde, co-founder and chairman emeritus of mining royalty company Franco-Nevada Corp. FNV-T, urged the Canadian government to look at any sale of the Botswana copper mine very carefully.

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