Congo opens Chinese-owned Deziwa copper and cobalt mine – by Stanis Bujakera (Reuters U.S. – January 15, 2020)

DEZIWA MINE, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) – The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company Gécamines on Wednesday opened the Deziwa copper and cobalt mine and processing plant, part of a joint venture majority-owned by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Company (CNMC).

The Deziwa deposit, around 35 kilometres east of Kolwezi, is estimated to hold 4.6 million tonnes of copper and 420,000 tonnes of cobalt. Somidez, the joint venture controlling it, is held 51% by CNMC and 49% by Gécamines.

An $880 million project which started construction in May 2018, the Deziwa mine aims to produce 80,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of cobalt per year, according to Somidez.

In written comments prepared for the launch, Gécamines chairman Albert Yuma described it as an “innovative” partnership for Congo, with a greater government stake than other projects in the country.

For example, Gécamines holds just 25% of Kamoto Copper Company, with 75% owned by Glencore subsidiary Katanga Mining. The Deziwa mine is the latest example of the close investment ties China has forged with Congo.

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