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Vol 40 No 6

Published 19th March 1999


Mining the depths

Delay on privatisation has cost the country dear – and it isn't over yet

The deal to sell off the state’s best copper-mines must be tied up by the end of March, or Zambia is in effect out of business. For now, the economy is ticking over thanks to a loan of US$70 million, approved by the International Monetary Fund on the strength of a memorandum of understanding for the sale of the mines. But a memorandum is not a contract, and the deal is not yet closed. The proposed purchaser, South Africa’s Anglo American Corporation, through its subsidiary Zambia Copper Investments (ZCI), has struck an extremely hard bargain offering just $90 mn. for 80 per cent of Konkola, Nchanga and Nkana mines (AC Vol 40 No 3).

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