Congo miner threatens to seize Chinese partner’s massive cobalt project

Congo miner threatens to seize Chinese partner’s massive cobalt project

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a shareholder battle over one of the world’s largest copper and cobalt mines is heating up after state miner Gecamines threatened to halt shipments or even take the mine away from its partner, China Molybdenum Co.

Congo’s Gecamines, which owns 20% of the Tenke Fungurume mine’s holding company, has accused CMOC of financial mismanagement and claims it owes up to $5 billion in payments.

A Congolese court ordered a temporary administrator to govern the holding company while the shareholders sort out their issues, but CMOC argued that nothing had changed. The administrator, Sage Ngoie Mbayo, claims to have taken possession of the company’s bank accounts, but Congolese soldiers barred him from approaching the mining site last week.

The first meeting between the shareholders and Ngoie was scheduled for Thursday at Tenke Fungurume Mining SA’s offices in Lubumbashi, Congo’s mining capital. CMOC members were not there, despite the presence of Gecamines’ top two executives.

Gecamines Chief Executive Officer Bester-Hilaire Ntambwe Ngoy Kabongo and his deputy, Leon Mwine Kabiena, have stated that they are willing to take more serious measures, including terminating the partnership and thereby revoking CMOC’s ownership of the project.

Thanks for sharing!
Cobalt Copper Markets