China Molybdenum Regains Control of DR Congo Copper Mine

China Molybdenum has regained control of the Tenke Fungurume Copper-Cobalt Mine after the Democratic Republic of Congo dropped a case it had filed against the Chinese mining giant.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and CMOC agreed to settle their dispute outside the court and will appoint an ‘internationally recognized third party to conduct an assessment for a definitive solution’ to their debate over royalty payments.

DRC Prime Minister Sama Lukonde suspended court proceedings against the Chinese mining company last Tuesday.

Patrick Muyaya, Communications Minister of the National Assembly of the DRC, said that the government had laid out a road map to exit the crisis, along with a timeline.

“In the meantime, the judicial procedure remains suspended to restore a peaceful climate of exchange and harmony between the two parties,” Muyaya said.

China Molybdenum obtained its controlling position in Tenke Fungurume in 2016 for 2.65 billion USD from the US mining firm Freeport-McMoRan and increased its stake to 80 percent for 1.14 billion USD in 2019. 

In 2021, China Molybdenum also announced a 2.51 billion USD investment to boost output at Tenke Fungurume, the world’s second-largest cobalt mine.

Tenke Fungurume produced 209,100 tonnes of copper and 18,500 tonnes of cobalt in 2021 and will produce 20,500 tonnes of cobalt and 267,000 tonnes of copper this year.

China Molybdenum also acquired a 95 percent stake in the Kisanfu mine from the US-based Freeport-McMoRan in December 2020.

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