Shalina seals DRC cobalt/copper deal

Drilling in the DRC. A deal signed between DRC cobalt and copper producer Shalina Resources/Chemaf and commodity trader Trafigura will facilitate new supply of high-grade cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode at a time of growing global demand. Image credit: Badibanga Roger from Unsplash.

Shalina seals DRC cobalt/copper deal

A deal signed between DRC cobalt and copper producer Shalina Resources/Chemaf and commodity trader Trafigura will facilitate new supply of high-grade cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode at a time of growing global demand.

The Dubai headquartered company said in a recent statement that it will use the USD600-million financing to complete the fully mechanised Mutoshi mine and the solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) processing plant in Kolwezi, in the Lualaba Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The funding will also allow Shalina to expand its Etoile SX-EW processing plant in Lubumbashi to progress without delay.

Trafigura intends to syndicate most of the USD600-million financing to international banks. As part of the agreement terms Trafigura will market all the cobalt hydroxide produced from these assets operated by Chemaf, Shalina’s DRC subsidiary, which is expected to continue until the end of 2027.

The Mutoshi mine, one of the largest cobalt and copper mines in the DRC is expected to come into production by the third quarter of 2023. Once fully operational Chemaf will be a top global cobalt producer at a time when demand for Electric Vehicles (EV), batteries and copper (as part of the energy transition) is expected to reach record highs.

The development of these operations in the DRC will provide substantial economic value for the country and create significant local employment during the construction phase of the Mutoshi mine. Once in production the mine is expected to provide employment to about 1000 people. In addition, the current local employment of 1000 Congolese at the Etoile mine will be secured for longer than 12 years.

An important component of the transaction involves Trafigura working with Shalina and Chemaf, using their combined experience to enhance the management of social and environmental impacts in line with international standards including the OECD’s ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains’ and Trafigura’s own responsible sourcing programme.

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