China Moly disputes that the DRC has taken over its copper-cobalt mine Tenke.

China Moly disputes that the DRC has taken over its copper-cobalt mine Tenke.

The government believes the mine overstated its reserves in order to decrease the amount of royalties paid to the government by its Chinese partner.

According to majority owner China Molybdenum, there has been no change in management of Tenke Fungurume Mining, despite claims by authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that a temporary administrator had assumed control of one of the world’s largest cobalt and copper mines.

A court-appointed temporary administrator has officially assumed command of TFM shareholders, according to the secretary-general of Congo’s state mining corporation Gecamines, who told Reuters on Thursday.

China Moly holds 80% of the copper and cobalt mine, with Gecamines owning the remaining 20%.

In an email to Reuters, China Molybdenum spokeswoman Vincent Zhou stated, “There is no change in the management right of TFM, and production and operations are functioning as usual.”

The DRC is also Africa’s premier copper miner and the world’s top producer of cobalt, which is used in electric batteries.

In February, a court appointed Sage Ngoie Mbayo as administrator for a six-month period in response to a claim filed by Gecamines.

Following a request for an investigation by the DRC government, the judgement was put on hold. Justice Minister Ruth Mutombo, however, directed that it be enforced in a letter dated June 1 that was seen by Reuters.

According to Gecamines secretary-general Patrice Pungwe, Ngoie, who had been named Gecamines’ representative to TFM shortly before his nomination as temporary administrator, officially assumed over on Thursday.

Ngoie announced that he was now in control in a video shot in TFM’s offices.

“At the moment, I’m in charge of TFM. He stated, “It is not run by Gecamines or CMOC (China Moly).”

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