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(Bloomberg) -- Zambia said a lack of capital halted production at a copper mine it seized from Indian billionaire Anil Agarwal’s Vedanta Resources Ltd., a development the operator disputed.

The standstill at Konkola Deep, a high-grade underground pit that also contains cobalt, was triggered by a shortage of funds to develop new mining areas, said Barnaby Mulenga, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mines. The lack of capital is also curbing output at other operations of Konkola Copper Mines Plc, which was placed under provisional liquidation in 2019 after the government alleged Vedanta lied about expansion plans and paid too little tax.

KCM said on Thursday that Konkola Deep is still operating. Higher copper prices will also make it economical to open up new mining areas, it said in a statement.

The developments at KCM come as copper surged back above $10,000 a ton, with the reopening of major industrial economies sparking a commodities rally. Africa’s No. 2 copper producer is reliant on exports of the metal, but production at Konkola Deep may only resume after the resolution of a legal arbitration with Vedanta opens the way for new investment, Mulenga said.

“This demand for copper will only get higher and the sooner these issues are resolved there is still an opportunity to exploit this resource,” Mulenga said. “This is a giant which is sleeping and we remain positive that it will be mined at some point.”

Zambia Plan to Sell Billionaire’s Mines Stuck in Legal Mire

Mulenga said KCM’s current challenges result from Vedanta failing to complete underground works that would have allowed more ore to be extracted from Konkola Deep. The flagship mine in Zambia’s Copperbelt requires most of the $1.2 billion needed to turn KCM around, he said.

Vedanta, which has denied the government’s allegations, said it was “saddened” to hear about the production halt at Konkola Deep. The company said it had invested more than $1.7 billion in KCM and had planned to spend a further $1.5 billion to make the operations profitable.

Last month, employees of more than 30 contractors at KCM stopped work and staged protests over workers’ grievances.

The mounting problems at KCM highlight the political risks as President Edgar Lungu’s government seeks a greater share of mining revenues ahead of elections this year. While Zambia’s copper production rose to a record last year, that didn’t prevent the nation from defaulting on its external debt.

Zambia also plans to sell a majority stake in Mopani Copper Mines Plc after acquiring the operations from Glencore Plc, Mulenga said earlier this year. The government wants to raise about $300 million to expand output and pay off the $1.5 billion it owes the commodities giant.

A Copper Mining Lesson From Zambia: History Repeats Itself

(Updates with comment from KCM in third paragraph)

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(Bloomberg) -- Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings agreed to buy crypto custodian BitGo Inc. in a cash and stock transaction valued at about $1.2 billion.Galaxy is paying $265 million in cash and is issuing 33.8 million shares to finance the acquisition. BitGo shareholders will own 10% of the company. The deal broadens Galaxy’s offerings and geographic reach.“The acquisition of BitGo establishes Galaxy Digital as a one-stop-shop for institutions and significantly accelerates our mission to institutionalize digital asset ecosystems and blockchain technology,” Novogratz, Galaxy’s New York-based chief executive officer and founder, said in a statement.Cryptocurrency prime broker BitGo was founded in 2013 by Mike Belshe, an engineer who’s previously worked on Google’s Chrome. He’s joining Galaxy as deputy chief executive officer and will become a member of the company’s board of directors.“Joining Galaxy Digital represents an exciting new chapter for our business, as our current clients gain access to a wide set of financial solutions,” Belshe said in a release.BitGo, with over 400 institutional clients, has more than $40 billion in assets under custody and serves over 150 exchanges, according to a press release. The company processes roughly 30 billion transactions per month and supports the custody of more than 400 coins and tokens.“We’ve built this company where we invested in all things blockchain, we traded and participated on top of the blockchain, and now with the 60-plus blockchain engineers, we actually get to build the infrastructure of the future,” Novogratz said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.It’s the second high-profile acquisition in the crypto space in recent days. Coinbase Global Inc., the newly public crypto firm, at the end of April acquired Skew, a data analytics and trade execution platform focused on cryptocurrency derivatives.The cryptosphere has grown in recent months as institutional and retail investors take a greater interest amid a red-hot rally in digital-asset prices. Bitcoin, the largest digital coin, has gained more than 500% over the past year. The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which tracks multiple cryptocurrencies, is up nearly 800% over the same period.(Updates with comments from BTV interview.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

(Bloomberg) -- Mubadala Investment Co. joined global investors like KKR & Co. in pouncing on opportunities presented by the pandemic, embarking on a record dealmaking spree while many of its peers among sovereign wealth funds hunkered down.In a year that saw the worst oil-price crash in a generation, Mubadala delivered a record income for the Abu Dhabi government as it doubled down on a bet that sectors like technology and consumer goods will benefit the most from the economic recovery. Abu Dhabi’s second-largest wealth fund said on Thursday that new investments last year amounted to 108 billion dirhams ($29.4 billion).With stakes in businesses from the retail unit of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd. to U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake and an ambition of doubling in size over the next decade, Mubadala stood out in seizing on dislocations in markets caused by the pandemic. State funds’ overall investments dropped almost 20% last year, according to New York-based adviser and data firm Global SWF.Mubadala’s pace put it on par with KKR, which was the top spending private equity firm globally from the start of April through December last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. KKR invested a total of $29.5 billion in public and private markets in 2020.“We navigated our portfolio through the dramatic macro-economic decline of early 2020, and decided to accelerate the pace of our capital deployment, ending the year with record profit and growth,” said Mubadala’s managing director and group chief executive officer, Khaldoon Al Mubarak.The annual review published on Thursday showed Mubadala’s assets under management across the group reached 894 billion dirhams, from 853 billion dirhams in 2019. It also said five-year returns on its portfolio were 9.8%, dating to 2016.The fund recently changed the way it reports its results. It eliminated categories such as annual revenue and net income, saying it would no longer release data “not relevant to a long-term investor” and would instead disclose a multi-year metric.Technology, HealthMubadala is plowing money into high-growth sectors such as technology and health care as the emirate looks to reduce its traditional reliance on oil and gas. Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is home to almost 6% of the world’s oil reserves.For 2020, Mubadala said its total comprehensive income rose to 72 billion dirhams from 53 billion dirhams in 2019, citing growth in its public equities portfolio and funds in addition to the company’s assets across various sectors. It said the UAE and the U.S. remain its largest investment destinations but that it also expanded in India, France, China and Russia.Mubadala, which earlier this year overhauled its internal structure, also cashed out of some commitments, collecting 104 billion dirhams last year by monetizing mature assets and distributing investments locally and abroad.“In line with our long-term strategy, we increased our investments in sectors where we have high conviction, and with high performing fund managers,” Al Mubarak said.Abu Dhabi’s $232 Billion Mubadala Wants to Take Crack at Top 10Funds from Gulf states have been chasing overseas investments to reduce reliance on their oil-dependent home markets. Kuwait’s $124 billion pension fund is reducing its allocation to stocks in favor of alternatives and sees “lots of opportunities” in infrastructure over the next few years, especially in the U.S., its director general said in November.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday ahead of data that is expected to show a decline in weekly jobless claims, while shares of vaccine makers looked to extend losses after President Joe Biden's plan to back intellectual property waivers on COVID-19 shots. Shares in Pfizer Inc, Moderna Inc, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, all involved in the making of COVID-19 vaccines, fell between 0.6% and 5.4% in premarket trading.

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