Abu Dhabi’s IHC targets $1bn in African mining deals

Copper pour

ABU Dhabi conglomerate IHC, which gate-crashed Sibanye-Stillwater’s bid for Mopani copper mine in Zambia, is expected to complete $1bn worth of acquisitions in African mining this year.

IHC CEO Syed Basar Shueb, told the Financial Times that its IRH subsidiary had signed joint venture agreements for iron ore mining in two places in Angola — Kassala Kitungo and Munenga — and that it was in advanced talks to mine nickel in Burundi as well as various metals in Tanzania and Kenya.

Shueb said the group had been formed from different mining interests belonging to IHC and Royal Group, an investment group also chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon that preceded IHC. “Whether it’s a mining or a refinery business of the gold, or the trading side of the business, we have consolidated everything under IRH,” Shueb said.

IHC is chaired by Abu Dhabi royal Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the United Arab Emirates’ national security adviser and a key business figure, said the newspaper.

IHC was also hoping to buy Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) and was in discussions with the Zambian government as well as shareholder Vedanta which wants to sell a minority stake. “Next to Mopani is KCM . . . we are talking to the government because it makes a lot of sense that one party manages Mopani and KCM,” Shueb told the Financial Times.

“We had a few meetings with Vedanta and the government, but of course, Vedanta is a large player, they are much more experienced than us.”