1 January 2013

Zambia: IFDC Inks $400 Million Greenfield Copper Mines Deal

THE International Finance Development Corporation (IFDC) has signed a US$400-million investment deal with a local firm for the development of the greenfield copper and emerald mines which will create 6,000 jobs on Copperbelt.

IFDC signed the K2-trillion (KR2-billion) agreement with Kitwe-based Elmet Mining and Technical Limited to kick-start the financing of the development of the greenfield copper and emeralds mines.

The New York-based IFDC, which is one of the world's largest private equity investment funds is set to sign memoranda of understanding with local firms to develop green field copper and emerald mines under a multi-billion dollar asset financing project.

IFDC president Kazi Ahmed, who was in the country, on Friday signed the agreement on behalf of his corporation and revealed that the agreement with the Kitwe-based mining firm was just the beginning of his company's investments in Zambia.

"We are looking at projects that involve renewable energy particularly Hydro and solar power. We are also interested in infrastructure projects such as rail, roads and bridges. We have the capacity to undertake turnkey projects from our resources using different financing models," Mr Ahmed said in a statement released yesterday.

He said emerald mining projects were subject to geological survey and financial feasibility reports and would only commence when the documents are presented by the project promoters.

The IFDC was investing millions of dollars in the projects on joint venture partnership basis. The investment in the copper mine is expected to create over 6,000 jobs.

The Kitwe based Elmet Mining and Technical Limited is the first local mine to benefit from the IFDC financing facility which would kick-start the development of greenfield copper and emeralds mines development in Zambia.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Elmet Mining director Webby Chipili said the investment was welcome and was in line with Government policy of job creation and youth empowerment.

Mr Chipili said the investment would further enhance the economic gains achieved so far on the Copperbelt.

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