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Musings From Abroad

UAE’s IRH to consider stake in Zambia’s Lubambe copper mine



A division of the International Holding Company of Abu Dhabi, International Resources Holding (IRH), has announced that it plans to submit a proposal for a share in Zambia’s Lubambe Copper Mine.


The deal has opened up more potential to profit from Africa’s second-largest copper producer, according to IRH, which just acquired a 51% stake in Mopani Copper Mines in Zambia.



Even after Chinese firm JCHX Mining agreed to buy the stake, it was reported on March 22 quoting sources, indicating that IRH, a division of the most valuable company in Abu Dhabi, is interested in purchasing an 80% stake in Lubambe held by EMR Capital.



“IRH’s commitment (at Mopani), has opened doors for additional investment opportunities in Zambia, including an intention to bid for a stake in the Lubambe Copper Mine,” the company said.


Due to the company’s interest in Lubambe, which may be among Zambia’s biggest copper mines, a bidding battle between Shanghai-listed JCHX, a mine maintenance and contracting company, and itself may result.


Wealthy oil companies from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have recently begun to follow China’s lead and engage in African businesses to acquire resources to diversify their economies and capitalize on the move to electric vehicles (EVs). In addition to making bids for mining projects, IRH stated that it was actively investigating a range of investment prospects.


“In the forthcoming years, our goal is to seek diversification opportunities beyond copper… (with) targeted investments in other pivotal energy transition minerals, such as cobalt, nickel, rare earth elements, manganese, graphite, and the 3T minerals – tin, tungsten, and tantalum,” it said.


The Zambian government currently plans to increase copper production from approximately 850,000 metric tonnes to 3 million metric tonnes annually by 2032.

Musings From Abroad

55 million people facing severe hunger in West and Central Africa— UN



A food crisis has been made worse by rising prices in West and Central Africa. In the next few months, nearly 55 million people will have trouble feeding themselves, according to a warning from the United Nations relief groups on Friday.

The groups said that the number of people going hungry during the June–August lean season had quadrupled in the last five years. They further claimed that economic problems like double-digit inflation and stagnant local production were major causes of the crisis, along with ongoing battles in the region.

A joint statement from the World Food Program, UNICEF, and the Food and Agriculture Organization said that Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Mali are among the countries most severely affected. In the north of these countries, about 2,600 people are expected to die of extreme hunger.

“The time to act is now. We need all partners to step up … to prevent the situation from getting out of control,” said Margot Vandervelden, WFP’s acting regional director for West Africa.

Malnutrition is very high because of a lack of food, according to the agencies. They say that 16.7 million children under five years old are severely malnourished across West and Central Africa.

Food supplies have made things harder, especially for countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone which are already dealing with high inflation.

“To respond to the unprecedented food and nutrition insecurity,” said Robert Guei, the FAO’s Sub-regional Coordinator for West Africa, policies should be put in place to increase and diversify local food production.

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Musings From Abroad

Russia begins diesel exports to Sudan as EU boycott bites



London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) data shows that Russia has started sending fuel to troubled North African country, Sudan.

The sales begin amid new demand for Russia’s refined goods following a trade boycott against it by the EU over the invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Since February 2023 when the EU put a full ban on importing Russian oil products, diesel has been sent to Brazil, Turkey, and countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It has also been loaded from ship to ship.

Data from LSEG shows that two fuel ships, the Pavo Rock and the Conga, brought about 70,000 metric tons of ultra-low sulphur diesel to Sudan after loading it in February at Primorsk in the Baltic Sea. Shipping records show that the goods were unloaded at Port Sudan Al Khair Terminal on April 2 and April 5, respectively.

The Marabella Sun, a ship that was loaded in March at the Russian Baltic port of Vysotsk, is now on its way to Port Sudan and should be unloaded on April 17.

A source quoted by Reuters claims Sudan needs about 45,000 barrels per day (bpd), or 6,000 tons per day, of diesel to meet local demand. However, Sudan’s Petroleum Ministry did not answer a request for comment.

About 60,000 to 70,000 metric tons of diesel are brought into Sudan every month, mostly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. According to the LSEG, about 116,000 metric tons of diesel came into Sudan in March.

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