In 2000, we acquired a shareholding in Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia through a competitive tender. This was part of a general privatisation of Zambian copper mining assets, supported by the World Bank.

Reversing under-investment in Mopani’s assets

Before privatisation, Mopani had suffered from years of under-investment. The business was in a parlous financial and physical condition, which required its corporate shareholders to spend over $3 billion to redeveloping and expanding operations.

Today, over 4,500 people work at Mopani. Mining is the highest paying industry in Zambia. We estimate that each of our employees has an average of eight dependents. The salary of our most junior employees is $680 per month (K4,300), compared to the national minimum wage of $180 (K1,132).

The most significant investment made in the physical assets at Mopani has been an extensive smelter upgrade, which we committed to in 2000: read the smelter upgrade case study.

Contributing to local development

Since privatisation Mopani’s shareholders have made, and continue to make, substantial contributions to local, regional and national economic wellbeing and growth. This includes over $250 million invested in the sustainable development of these communities in such areas as health, education, infrastructure, water & sanitation, agriculture and sport.

Local procurement

Local procurement is an significant component of our contribution to economic development. Mopani paid contractor and supplier companies $800 million in 2014. Of this, 68% was spent in Zambia, 59% in the Copperbelt region and 48% in Mufulira and Kitwe, the two closest towns to Mopani.

Investing in infrastructure

Infrastructure investments are a focal point of the region’s socioeconomic development. In 2012, Mopani completed rehabilitation of the Kitwe ring road and the Mufulira-Sabina road, which cost $4.5 million and $10.5 million respectively, and funded an upgrade of an entire township’s sanitary infrastructure. In 2013 it spent $650,000 on rehabilitating local sport stadia, which were in serious disrepair.

Education & health

Mopani has supported local schools and health programmes for many years. Its malaria programme enjoys continued success: the incident rate in Kitwe has been reduced from 200/1,000 people in 2001 to almost 4/1,000 people in 2012. Mopani’s HIV/AIDS programme has seen the mother-to-child transmission rate reduced from 35% in 2005 to zero in 2013. Mopani treated 18,000 people with ARTs (anti-retroviral drugs) in 2014, 85% of whom were not associated with our operations but live in the surrounding communities.