China Moly to spend $ 2.5 billion to double Congo mine’s copper and cobalt production
(Reuters) – China Molybdenum Co said on Friday it would spend $ 2.51 billion to roughly double copper and cobalt production from its giant Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This exceptional investment comes as the prices of the two metals jumped in 2021 amid a rebound in demand following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Copper is up 23% year-to-date on the London Metal Exchange after hitting a record high of nearly $ 10,750 per tonne in May, while cobalt is up 64% to around 52,000 $ per ton.
China Moly said in a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing that the $ 2.5 billion investment – which will be used to build three ore production lines – would increase the mine’s average annual copper output by 200,000. tonnes and increase cobalt production by 17,000 tonnes.
“The project is expected to be completed and put into production in 2023,” he said, adding that the end products would be copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide.
China Moly owns an 80% stake in Tenke Fungurume, one of the largest copper-cobalt deposits in the world. The mine produced around 182,600 tonnes of copper and 15,400 tonnes of cobalt in 2020. Production is expected to be higher this year.
The company said it would finance the $ 2.5 billion investment with its own funds and through bank loans.
Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Anil D’Silva