Home » UAE Firm Bids $1 Billion for Stake in Zambia’s KCM

UAE Firm Bids $1 Billion for Stake in Zambia’s KCM

IRH Aims to Expand African Copper Empire with KCM's Acquisition

by Ikeoluwa Ogungbangbe
IRH KCM acquisition

International Resources Holding (IRH), a subsidiary of International Holding corporation, the most valuable corporation in Abu Dhabi, has launched a substantial proposal to acquire a majority stake in Vedanta Resources’ copper operations in Zambia, as part of a calculated drive to expand its mining empire in Africa. With a proposed acquisition estimated to be worth over $1 billion, IRH is making a strong effort to increase its market share in the global copper sector by attempting to acquire a 51% stake in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

Following IRH’s recent acquisition of a 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines for $1.1 billion, this aggressive bid highlights the company’s aggressive expansion plans in Zambia’s profitable copper sector. To further show its dedication to building a strong copper mining presence in the area, IRH has also stated its intention to submit a bid for a portion of the Lubambe copper mine, which is presently owned by EMR Capital.

The oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia are securing vital metal supply from Africa as part of a larger plan that includes the strategic acquisitions. Given copper’s crucial role in renewable energy technology, this project aims to not only strengthen resource security but also establish these Gulf countries as major actors in the global shift to green energy.

Although talks are still underway and the IRH offer for KCM is not legally binding, people with knowledge of the situation suggest that obstacles may arise during the negotiation process. Vedanta, which is owned by Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal, has a history of trying to hold onto a sizable amount of power over KCM, indicating that it could be reluctant to give up a majority share. Vedanta’s recent efforts to resuscitate its assets after a protracted conflict with the Zambian government add to the complexity of these negotiations.

Under the previous administration, the Zambian government had taken control of the KCM assets in 2019 and accused Vedanta of not making enough investments to expand copper production. Due to Vedanta’s recent takeover, the legal battles and international arbitration that followed eventually came to an end. Long-running legal battles and the government takeover significantly limited further investment into KCM, bringing the company almost to a complete stop.

Now that it has reclaimed ownership, Vedanta is actively looking to raise money to revitalize its business in Zambia. With the goal of raising about $1 billion over the next five years to invest in the assets, notably the Konkola Deep Mining Project, the business has hired Standard Chartered to oversee the process. This project, which is recognized for having one of the richest copper reserves in the world, needs a substantial investment for both expansion and the resolution of operational issues including groundwater removal.

Vedanta’s plan is for selling either majority or minority interest in KCM, contingent on the offers made and other strategic factors. In order to pay its significant local creditor commitments and resume full operations, the company must make steps to seek both short-and long-term finance.

Interest in KCM is anticipated to increase as events develop, especially in light of the recent increase in copper prices throughout the world. However, because of the assets’ operational and political difficulties, prospective investors might be wary. The result of these talks could have a big impact on worldwide trends in metal mining and the development of green energy resources, not to mention the Zambian copper industry.

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