UAE’s IRH plans bid for stake in Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine

Lubambe copper mine, Zambia. Image courtesy of Lubambe Copper Mine Ltd.

International Resources Holding (IRH), a unit of Abu Dhabi’s International Holding Company, said it intends to bid for a stake in Lubambe copper mine in Zambia.

IRH, which recently bought a 51% stake in Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines, told Reuters the deal had unlocked more opportunities to benefit from Africa’s second largest copper producer.

A unit of Abu Dhabi’s most valuable company, IRH is interested in buying an 80% stake in Lubambe held by EMR Capital, even after Chinese firm JCHX Mining agreed to buy the stake, Reuters reported on March 22, citing sources.

“IRH’s commitment (at Mopani), has opened doors for additional investment opportunities in Zambia, including an intention to bid for a stake in the Lubambe copper mine,” the company said in an emailed response to Reuters questions.

The company’s interest in Lubambe, potentially one of Zambia’s largest copper mines, could create a bidding war with Shanghai-listed JCHX, a mine servicing and contracting firm.

Cash-rich oil majors United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have recently started to emulate China by investing in African firms to secure resources in a bid to diversify their economies and profit from the shift to electric vehicles (EVs).

IRH said it was actively engaged in exploring a variety of investment opportunities, including submitting bids for mining projects.

“In the forthcoming years, our goal is to seek diversification opportunities beyond copper… (with) targeted investments in other pivotal energy transition minerals, such as cobalt, nickel, rare earth elements, manganese, graphite, and the 3T minerals – tin, tungsten and tantalum,” it said.

(By Felix Njini and Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by Jason Neely and Miral Fahmy)


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