DRC cobalt miner sale to China blocked

DRC cobalt miner sale to China blocked

DRC cobalt miner sale to China blocked 150 150 Batteries International

July 5, 2024: Gecamines, a Democratic Republic of Congo mining regulator, has blocked plans to sell a cobalt-mining company in the country to a Chinese firm.

State-owned miner, Gecamines, said on July 1 that is would not approve the sale of cobalt miner Chemaf and its Congolese assets to Chinese miner Norin Mining.

Chemaf leases the permit for its flagship Mutoshi project from Gecamines, which said in a statement last Monday that it has the right of approval of the ownership transfer and that its board had voted to reject the deal.

Chemaf said in response that Congo’s government has approved the transaction to settle debts largely funded by Chemaf’s long-time partner, commodities trader Trafigura.

The family-owned copper and cobalt miner offered itself for sale last year due to a cash crunch that was stalling the expansion of its Etoile and Mutoshi projects in DRC as cobalt prices slumped.

Chinese miners, most of which are state-backed, have become the biggest investors in DRC as the world’s second-largest economy aggressively pursues copper and cobalt supplies for its rapidly expanding electric vehicle industry.