Zambia lays ground work for minerals trading company

ZAMBIA this week approved the creation of a special purpose vehicle that will invest and trade in the country’s mineral resources, said Bloomberg News.

It follows comments made by Zambia president Hakainde Hichilema in an interview with the newswire in February in which he expressed his interest in capitalising on mineral production in the same way as Glencore’s trading business and Trafigura.

Information and Media Minister Cornelius Mweetwa said in a statement on Wednesday the state-based minerals trading firm would “move away from the dividend payment model for mineral resources and adopt a production-based sharing mechanism to ensure benefits accrue to the people of Zambia beyond statutory obligations”.

The government — long suspicious that some mining companies under-declare production and profits — hopes the creation of a state minerals trading company will provide a window into where others are making money from Zambia’s resources, said Bloomberg News.

In another boost to Zambia, it was reported this week that KoBold Metals aimed to produce more than 300,000 tons per year at Mingomba. The mine would be Zambia’s biggest copper producer if developed. Shaft sinking will begin in the first half of 2026.

Zambia is seeking to become one of the world’s largest producers of copper, which is crucial for green technologies like electric vehicles and wind turbines, said Bloomberg News.

The world faces predicted shortages of the metal in the coming decades amid the shift away from fossil fuels. Hichilema has previously said the Mingomba project could ultimately become one of the three-biggest copper mines globally.

Hichilema, a former economist, has brought the feel-good factor back to Zambian mining. In December, the country agreed to sell its Mopani Copper to International Resources Holdings, a United Arab Emirates company which has promised to invest in Mopani. The government bought the mine from Glencore for $1.5bn.