Kenyan investor signs mining deal with Zambian government

MMTC Founder Julius Mwale with Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema. 

Zambia has signed a deal with a US-based Kenyan investor after a Jeff Bezos-backed firm discovered large copper deposits.

This was after the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia (IDC) finalized a wide-ranging deal with the founder of Mwale Medical and Technology City  (MMTC) Julius Mwale in Lusaka, Zambia.

The agreement was reached after seven months of negotiations between IDC Chair President Hakainde Hichilema and the investors.

The deal comes after a US firm KoBold Metals discovered large copper deposits at its Mingomba copper project in Zambia near the border with DRC.

The signed deal has been sealed for smart cities, mining, infrastructure, and agriculture, to help IDC fulfill its mandate of developing Zambia's domestic industrial capacity and creating jobs.

KoBold Metals, backed by among others Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos discovered one of the world's biggest high-grade large copper mines early this year.

It said it had raised USD150 million for the exploration process in Zambia.

"We will start immediately in July and work to fulfill the agreement, said Norbert Mugeni, a chemical engineer and assistant project manager in the energy division of MMTC.

He said that the mining is in Nickel, Cobalt, and Copper. 

"We want to use cobalt and nickel for building battery manufacturing plants for EVs in the Kasempa region of Zambia". He said using the abbreviation of Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries". 

Jack Chadukwa, the CEO of Afritechnics in Zambia, another consortium member said that the idea is to create industries in Zambia that create value addition and thousands of jobs.

"We are glad to be part of Mwale’s consortium so that we can replicate what we saw at MMTC in Kenya here in Zambia", he said. 

Zambia and DRC have plenty of minerals critical for manufacturing batteries for domestic power use and Electric vehicles.  

Mwale’s foray into Zambia positions him as a key player in the industry as MMTC expands into developing 18 smart cities in 12  countries in Africa by 2050. 

The cities will be powered by batteries like MMTC in Kenya.

Zambia is Africa's second-largest producer of copper after DRC.  It also has large deposits of nickel near the border with DRC attracting global investors with deep pockets.

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