MMG to buy Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana for $1.88 billion

November 22, 2023

Canada-based Cuprous Capital has agreed to sell 100 percent of its interests to MMG Ltd. for a reported $1.88 billion. Cuprous Capital is the parent company of the Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana.

MMG is a global resources company that mines, explores and develops copper and other base metals projects on four continents, and is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. MMG currently operates the Dugald River zinc mine and the Rosebery polymetallic mine in Australia, the Kinsevere copper mine in the DRC, the Las Bambas Mine in southern Peru, in addition to their Izok Corridor development project in northern Canada. In 2022, MMG produced 305 kt (336,000 st) of copper and 225 kt (248,000 st) of zinc.

Over the last 12 years, the current shareholders have advanced the Khoemacau project from exploration and discovery through to the development of a sustainable, long-life operation. Over this period approximately US$1 billion has been deployed on this development.

“With a pre-feasibility study on the Khoemacau expansion and a solar power project now completed, the focus now turns to the feasibility study as the pathway to increased production capacity from 3.65 Mt/a (4 million stpy) to 8.15 Mt/a (9 million stpy), and subsequently an increase in payable copper from 60 kt/a (66,000 stpy) to 130 kt/a (143,000 stpy),” Khoemacau wrote in a statement. “This, along with extensive exploration opportunities across the license area, positions Khoemacau for an new phase in its development.”

“We would like to thank the current owners, who as custodians of Khoemacau over many years, successfully transformed the company from a development idea to a fully-fledged operating copper mine. Having successfully completed the ramp up of the Zone 5/Boseto operations, the company will now be focused on the expansion study, which will seek to double production,” Khoemacau CEO Johan Ferreira commented. “We are excited by Khoemacau’s future with MMG, who share our vision for the expansion and have the capacity to support the significant investment needed to realize Khoemacau’s full potential, working with our team.”

MMG Chairman Jiqing Xu commented: “The addition of Khoemacau to MMG’s international portfolio delivers on our growth strategy and vision – to build a global diversified minerals and metals company and create opportunities for all stakeholders – including our shareholders, employees and communities. Khoemacau has significant expansion potential and we look forward to working with the current team to make Khoemacau’s potential a reality.”

Smelters in China, the world’s top consumer of refined copper, face an increasing challenge in securing copper concentrate, as they boosted capacity in recent years amid slower mining output growth.

Reuters in September reported that at least three South African miners were in a race to buy the mine that is home to one of Africa’s largest copper deposits, as growing demand for the metal ensures strong competition for the sought-after asset.

Khoemacau is located in the Kalahari Copper Belt, a vast swathe of land that stretches from north-east Botswana to parts of western Namibia.
The deal is pending approval from regulatory bodies in China and Botswana, the filing showed. MMG said it expects the deal to complete in the first half of 2024.

Macquarie Capital and Citigroup acted as joint financial advisors to MMG on the deal.



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