Chinese companies are betting heavily on Democratic Republic of Congo’s mines – by Jevans Nyabiage (South China Morning Post – December 27, 2020)

Chinese companies are betting big on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s mining industry as copper prices surged to a seven-year high driven by China’s strong recovery and the push for electric cars.

Chinese mineral mining and exploration giant, China Molybdenum Co. (CMOC), cemented its grip on the DRC’s mining industry after it acquired Arizona-based mining company, Freeport-McMoRan’s indirect 95 per cent interest in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt deposit for US$550 million.

The Chinese company said Kisanfu, located in Lualaba province, was one of the world’s largest, highest-grade undeveloped cobalt and copper projects, containing about 6.3 million tonnes of copper and 3.1 million tonnes of cobalt.

Kisanfu is located 33km (20 miles) southwest of another copper-cobalt operation, Tenke-Fungurume Mine, which China Molybdenum bought from Freeport-McMoran in 2016.

Steele Li, CMOC’s vice-chairman and chief investment officer, said the acquisition of Kisanfu was “expected to further cement the company’s position in the cobalt and the electric vehicles materials space”.

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