Giant Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo is set to receive $2.51 billion to roughly double production of copper and cobalt.
The massive investment comes from China Molybdenum Company as prices for both metals have jumped in 2021 amid a demand rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the London Metal Exchange,
Copper rose 23% year to date after hitting a record high of almost US$10,750 a ton in May 2021. Cobalt on the other hand is up 64% at about US$52 000 a ton.
In a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange China Moly said the US$2.5 billion investment will go toward building three ore production lines. It is meant to boost average annual copper output at the mine by 200,000 tons and increase cobalt output by 17,000 tons.
China Moly holds 80% stake in Tenke Fungurume, one of the world’s largest copper-cobalt deposits.
The mine produced around 182 600 tons of copper and 15,400 tons of cobalt in 2020. “The project is expected to be completed and put into production in 2023,” it said.
It added that the end-products would be copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide.
Output is forecast to be higher this year.
It would finance the investment with its own funds and through bank loans.
In a similar vein, Copper Resources (CCR), a company focused on delivering copper assets in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zambia, is targeting a new copper zone in the DRC.
71 areas of interest have been identified with some drill ready, while others require further regional work that will develop project two and three into the pipeline.
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