Thursday, May 28, 2009

China’s Zhongai Interested in Luanshya Copper Mine, Zambia Says

By Geoffrey Kapembwa and Ron Derby

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Zhongai Mining Plc of China is one of five mining companies interested in taking over the Luanshya copper mine in northern Zambia, a government official said.

An expression of interest has been received from Zhongai, the minister responsible for the Copperbelt province, Mwansa Mbulakulima, said today by phone from the regional capital, Ndola. Zhongai has been carrying out exploration across the country since 2007 with a view to establishing a local mining unit, he said.

Luanshya, currently owned by Enya Holdings BV, produced 2,000 metric tons of copper and 100 tons of cobalt a month before output was suspended in December as the global financial crisis curbed demand for industrial metals.

South Africa’s Shanduka Group is among the other companies interested in Luanshya, Zambian Mines Minister Maxwell Mwale said last week.

Shanduka is looking at assets in Zambia and other African countries, spokeswoman Maureen Mphatsoe said by phone from Johannesburg today. She declined to comment on whether the company is interested in the Luanshya mine.