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Glencore suspends cobalt sales in the DRC

06.11.2018
Katanga Mining, a Congolese subsidiary of the Swiss commodity group Glencore, said on Tuesday it temporarily suspended cobalt sales from its Kamoto mine in the DRC after finding uranium at levels too high for export.

In a statement dated from Zug, Glencore’s headquarters in Switzerland, Katanga Mining explains that “the presence of uranium was recently detected in the cobalt hydroxide produced at the Kamoto Project at levels above the acceptable limit allowed for export. of the product through the main African ports “.
Also, Katanga Mining “will temporarily suspend (…) the export and sale of cobalt as part of its Kamoto project in the Democratic Republic of Congo”.

“The low levels of radioactivity detected in uranium to date do not pose a risk to the health and safety of people,” however, the statement said. The company says it is conducting further analysis to identify the source of uranium and is exploring various uranium mining opportunities.
The group hopes to build an infrastructure to remove uranium from cobalt. The system, which is expected to cost approximately $ 25 million, is expected to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter of 2019.

Rather in the middle of the year Glencore-Gécamines agreement on the Kamoto copper mine in the DRC announced the sequel to the glorious epic of Glencore on Congolese minerals.

The Swiss mining giant Glencore and the Congolese company Gécamines have reached an agreement for the safeguarding of the Kamoto copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, announced Gécamines chief Albert Yuma.

“I am pleased to announce that we have found a favorable agreement for both partners so that the Kamoto mine will not be dissolved,” Yuma said at the opening of the mining week in Lubumbashi (southeast), the biggest annual meeting of the sector in the DRC.

The joint venture Glencore / Gécamines (75% / 25%) Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) “has agreed to recapitalize the company,” said Yuma, who hopes that “by the end of the year this company may pay income tax and distribute dividends to its shareholders “.

Gecamines accused Glencore of “puncturing the cash and wealth of the joint venture for its sole benefit”. “This is the state of mind we expect from all our partners,” Yuma said.  He also announced a “production sharing agreement” with a Chinese partner he did not name for the operation of a mine in the Kolwezi region (south-east).

This agreement will be much more favorable for the General Careers and Mines (Gecamines) than the current “joint ventures”, assured Mr. Yuma, who regularly takes as an example the policy of exploitation of oil by the Arab countries.
“We do not manufacture electric batteries with dollars but with cobalt from the DRC,” he said.

Yuma also announced a reform in early July of Gécamines based on an audit of Ernst & Young for the company to become “a full-fledged producer and not a minority partner in joint ventures.”

The boss of Gecamines, also president of Congolese employers, encouraged foreign companies still reluctant to implement the new mining code that wants to increase taxes and state resources.

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