KoBold Metals, the Bill Gates-backed mining exploration company, could spend $2.3-billion to build a major new copper mine in Zambia, President Hakainde Hichilema said, citing figures from the company. The firm aims to produce more than 300 000 metric tons per year at Mingomba — making it the country’s biggest such operation — and will begin sinking the mining shaft in the first half of 2026, according to company officials. Their meeting with Hichilema on Friday was broadcast over state television.