JOHANNESBURG- Zambian mining investment firm ZCCM-IH has hired investment bank Rothschild & Co for a strategic review of Mopani Copper Mines "to ensure its sustainability and continued development", the state-owned company said on Wednesday.
In April, ZCCM-IH said it was seeking a financial adviser to restructure Mopani and help find a new external investor for the mining complex, which Glencore had sold back to the state in January last year.
Copper production at the more than 90-year-old mine and smelter complex has fallen and it has been struggling to pay suppliers on time.
"ZCCM-IH is committed to see that MCM delivers to its optimal production levels in order to contribute to the national production target of 3 million metric tonnes of copper by 2030," the state firm said in a statement.
Restructuring is expected to be completed in six months, it added, with the option of a six-month extension. Rothschild & Co's involvement would not disrupt business operations at the mine, the state firm said.
ZCCM-IH said it chose Rothschild & Co after a competitive procurement process in which five other domestic and international companies participated. (Reporting by Helen Reid; Editing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo)