DRC: Gécamines aims to become the Negotiator for its copper and cobalt

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through the state-owned Gécamines, intends to directly market copper and cobalt produced within the country. To achieve this, the Congolese mining company will negotiate with the shareholders of mines in which it holds minority stakes to secure a portion of the production for its own stock.

According to Guy Robert Lukama, the Chairman of Gécamines’ Board of Directors, this initiative has the support of President Félix Tshisekedi.

Lukama explained that it would increase the state’s revenue from these two sub-sectors of the local mining industry.

Negotiations will involve Swiss-based Glencore and Chinese companies Zijin Mining and China Nonferrous Metals Corp., with the aim of concluding agreements by the end of 2024.

The strategy that Gécamines aims to implement to enhance the value of its stakes in certain Congolese copper-cobalt mines is inspired by a similar agreement with the Chinese company CMOC.

Announced last July, the agreement allows Gécamines to acquire a production volume proportional to its 20% stake in the Tenke Fungurume mine.

It’s worth noting that Kinshasa’s intention to directly market a portion of the copper and cobalt produced by Gécamines’ joint ventures is not the first signal sent by the DRC in recent months regarding its new ambitions.

The government has expressed interest in acquiring certain mines from Eurasian Resources Group while simultaneously negotiating to increase its revenue under the «mines for infrastructure» agreement signed with China in 2008.

These various maneuvers come at a time when most analysts agree on the global increase in copper demand in the coming years.

Due to the substantial amounts of the red metal needed for a successful energy transition, potential shortages are even possible, which could lead to a price hike.

As the third-largest copper producer globally, after Chile and Peru, the DRC aims to position itself better to capitalize on these promising prospects.

Read also/DRC: President Félix Tshisekedi takes on the battle against unemployment in a Rally in Mbanza-Ngungu

Jean-Robert TCHANDY

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