Chinese Company Removed as Operator of Cobalt Mine in Congo

Chinese Company Removed as Operator of Cobalt Mine in Congo

A court has given the Congolese control of one of the world’s largest sources of cobalt while allegations against the mine’s Chinese owners are investigated in a cobalt metal prices continued to trend upward on lingering tightness of spot units.

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has sidelined the Chinese owner of one of the world’s largest copper and cobalt mines, a major victory for the Congolese government as it seeks to become a bigger player in the global clean energy revolution.

The ruling, which removes Chinese leadership of the mine for at least six months, stems from a dispute over billions of dollars in payments the Congolese government says it is owed by the Chinese owner, China Molybdenum.

Backed by Chinese government financing, the company bought the Tenke Fungurume mine in 2016 from an Arizona-based mining company. The mine figures prominently in the Chinese government’s effort to dominate major supply chains for minerals and metals needed in the production of batteries for electric vehicles.

Cobalt is essential for electric vehicles because it extends battery range. It is now trading at a three-year high.

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