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July 14, 2024
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Baker McKenzie finalizes $1.1 billion partnership agreement for ZCCM Investments Holdings in Mopani Copper Mines deal.

Baker McKenzie, a leading international law firm, provided legal counsel to ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) in its significant partnership with International Resources Holding RSC Ltd (IRH) of Abu Dhabi, which invested via its subsidiary, Delta Mining Limited. Delta has secured a 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines plc (MCM) and is set to infuse USD 620 million in new equity capital. Additionally, it will cover up to USD 96 million in existing third-party letters of credit and provide up to USD 396 million in shareholder loans in a transaction that facilitated Glencore’s exit from its financial involvement with MCM.

This deal, finalized on 20 March 2024, is pivotal for Zambia’s ambition to produce three million metric tonnes of copper annually by 2030 and marks a significant shift in the nation’s copper mining landscape.

ZCCM-IH will maintain a 49% ownership in Mopani, securing three of nine board seats, enabling it to remain integral to the mine’s governance and ensuring transparency in its operations. Mopani is crucial to the Zambian Copperbelt’s productivity, supporting President Hakainde Hichilema’s economic development agenda. Since taking over Mopani from Glencore in 2021, ZCCM-IH, in collaboration with IRH and the Zambian government, is poised to further enhance the mining sector, attracting additional investments to the region.

Baker McKenzie’s advisory team was led by Richard Blunt, corporate partner and chair of the firm’s global Energy, Mining, Infrastructure and Projects practice. The team included specialists from multiple disciplines:

  • Transactional Energy (London): Partners Richard Blunt and Philip Thomson, Senior Associates Andrew Burleigh, and Associates Andrew Paget, Priya Shah, and Jacob Turner.
  • Banking (London): Senior Associate Philippe Bernier-Cormier, James Clarke, and Associate Rory Tredwell.
  • Tax (London): Partner Oliver Pendred and Associate Thomas Roberts.
  • Competition: Partner Lerisha Naidu (Johannesburg), Of Counsel Robert Eriksson (London), Director Designate Angelo Tzarevski (Johannesburg), and Senior Associate Sphesihle Nxumalo (Johannesburg).

Richard Blunt commented on the partnership, noting the strategic importance of the transaction in the context of global copper demand driven by decarbonization and electrification trends, and the increasing involvement of the Middle East in the sector. He highlighted the firm’s excitement about the potential transformations in the Zambian mining sector following President Hichilema’s remarks at the closing ceremony.

Baker McKenzie is renowned for its transactional expertise, with a global team of over 2,500 specialists across 45 countries, excelling in complex, cross-border transactions. The firm integrates deep legal and sector-specific expertise with broad geographical knowledge to deliver comprehensive client solutions in a connected world, operating from more than 70 offices globally.

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