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LUANSHYA, Zambia, May 8 (Reuters) – Zambia on Friday selected Chinese firm NFC Africa as the new investor to run the closed Luanshya Copper Mines (LCM), which is due to restart production at the end of May.

“It is now with great pleasure that I announce the sale of the 85 percent shares to China Nonferrous Metals Mining, commonly known as NFCA,” Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda told former Luanshya Copper Mines workers at a public meeting.

The LCM shut down the Baluba copper mine and abandoned the development of the 60,000 tonnes per year Mulyashi project last December saying it had been making losses because of low global metals prices and other effects of the global economic crisis.

The LCM, which was a joint venture of the Bein Stein Resources Group (BSRG) and International Mineral Resources (IMR), also shut down the Chambishi Metals Plc, Zambia’s largest cobalt producer, and retrenched 1,700 miners.

The 85 percent stake now held by NFC Africa was previously owned by Enya Holdings, which owns BSGR and IMR.

(Reporting By Shapi Shacinda)

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