The election of Michael Sata to president of Zambia is not sitting well with copper miners who fear the 73-year-old, known as "King Cobra" for his aggressive style, will pick the pockets of mining companies, Bloomberg reports.
Sata swept to power this week on a promise to create jobs and to extract more money from the mining industry in Zambia, Africa's largest copper producer. His win on Sept. 20 ends two decades of rule by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy.
Bloomberg reports that while Sata has backed down on threats to nationalize foreign companies, copper miners are nervous about what could happen next:
“Sata’s upset will have dramatic consequences for the country’s copper-dominated mining sector, as well as for the foreign policy and mining-sector policy direction of the southern Africa region,” Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, managing director of New York-based DaMina Advisors LLP, a frontier- market risk adviser, said in an e-mailed note.
Among the foreign companies with copper interests in Zambia are Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals; Glencore International Plc; London-based Vedanta Resources Plc; and Barrick Gold, which owns Lumwana Mine, Africa's largest copper mine, through its acquisition earlier this year of Equinox Minerals Ltd.