Abu Dhabi investment giant International Holding Company (IHC) is eyeing $1 billion in mining acquisitions this year, with a flurry of deals in several African nations.

IHC chief executive Syed Basar Shueb told the London-based Financial Times that its International Resources Holdings (IRH) subsidiary had signed joint venture agreements for iron ore mining in two places in Angola, Kassala Kitungo and Munenga, while the company was also in advanced talks to mine nickel in Burundi, along with various metals in Tanzania and Kenya.

Shueb further told the FT that IHC, chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s national security adviser, was expected to make mining acquisitions worth $1 billion this year.

The news comes on the back of IRH’s $1.1 billion investment in Zambia’s Mopani Copper Mines last year in return for 51% ownership of the business. 

Shueb told the FT the group had been formed from different mining interests belonging to IHC and Royal Group, an investment group also chaired by Sheikh Tahnoon that preceded IHC. He said IRH’s strategy was to buy mining concessions, as opposed to providing investment to other operators in return for future supply of raw materials.

The FT also quoted Shueb as saying that the IRH was in discussion for taking over the Konkola Copper Mines with the Zambian government, which is currently operated by Vedanta, the Indian metals and energy group, that has been looking to sell a minority stake.

(Writing by Bindu Rai, editing by Seban Scaria)