China Moly buys 95% of DRC copper/cobalt mine from Freeport for $550m

China Moly buys 95% of DRC copper/cobalt mine from Freeport for $550m

Edited by Reuters

China Molybdenum said on Sunday it had acquired a 95% stake in the Kisanfu copper/cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from US-based Freeport-McMoRan Inc for $550-million.

The Chinese company’s takeover of the undeveloped Kisanfu project – discussed as early as 2016 – boosts its reserves in the DRC, the world’s top producer of battery metal cobalt, where China Moly already operates the giant Tenke Fungurume mine.

The acquisition, by China Moly unit Natural Resource Elite Investment, was approved by the Luoyang-based company’s investment committee on December 1 and was completed on Friday US time, a filing to the Shanghai Stock Exchange said.

Kisanfu, which is around 33 km southwest of Tenke Fungurume, holds an estimated 6.28-million tonnes of copper and 3.1-million tonnes of cobalt metal, said the filing, which mentioned synergies with China Moly’s other business in the DRC.

The DRC government holds the other 5% in the mine.

China Moly acquired a 56% stake in Tenke Fungurume in 2016 from Freeport, which was looking to cut debt, and at the same time entered negotiations to buy the US miner’s stake in Kisanfu before talks ended the following year.