Chinese firms are looking to cash in on the bid for barrack Gold’s Lumwana copper mine in Zambia. Among the firms identified are; China Minmetals, Jiangxi Copper and Zijin Mining. The mine is estimated to go for up to US $1Bn, should the deal materialize.
Furthermore, China Molybdenum and Aluminum Corp were also invited to take part in the bid. Barrick is currently working with advisers to draw interest for the conventional open pit mine, which is located approximately 100km west of Solwezi town in Zambia’s copperbelt region.
It is expected to produce 210 to 240m pounds of copper in 2019 and has proven and probable copper reserves of over 4.5Bn pounds. In August, this year, Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow said that the company is focusing on divesting US $1.5Bn of assets by the end of the next year.
The Lumwana mine was officially inaugurated in April 2009 by Equinox Minerals. In April 2011, Barrick Gold signed a support agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding common shares of Equinox Minerals in a takeover offer valued at US $7.6Bn. Equinox Minerals was acquired by Barrick Gold in July 2011.
However, three year later in 2014 Barrick Gold announced its plans to suspend operations at the mine, following the Zambian Government’s move to raise mining taxes on open-pit mining operations in the country. In July, the company signed an agreement to acquire a stake in Acacia Mining.