China’s MMG to buy Khoemacau copper mine for $1.88 bln Chinese copper miner MMG Ltd (HK:1208) said on Tuesday that it had signed a deal to acquire Cuprous Capital, the holding company that controls the Khoemacau copper mine in Botswana, for $1.88 billion. 

The mine is located in the Kalahari Copperbelt, which stretches from northeast Botswana to western Namibia. The area is among the biggest copper deposits in Africa, with Khoemacau serving as the only active copper mine in the region.

MMG’s acquisition of the mine comes in the face of an expected spike in demand for the red metal, which plays a crucial role in the green energy transition. 

This notion had also seen several South African miners vying to buy Khoemacau over the past two months.

MMG said the mine has an initial life of 27 years, and is set to become a cornerstone asset for the group. The mine is expected to produce up to 65,000 tons of copper per annum between 2024 and 2026, after which production is expected to expand substantially. 

Capital expenditures for the mine are estimated at $100 million per annum, while the mine is expected to generate core earnings of $150 million per annum in its first two years under MMG. 

The Chinese miner has been hunting for more copper resources on expectations of more demand for copper. Disruptions in production at its other mines- specifically the Las Bambas mine in Peru- have also pushed MMG into diversifying its copper sources.

Workers at Las Bambas- which is among the biggest copper mines in the world- will go on an indefinite strike from next week, recent media reports showed. 

Still, copper prices have largely weakened this year, amid concerns over sluggish demand in top importer China. But the swiftly-growing electrical vehicle industry is expected to underpin demand for the red metal in the coming years.

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