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Congo's Gécamines opens Deziwa copper-cobalt JV with China Nonferrous

Congo's state-owned miner, Gécamines SA, opened the Deziwa copper-cobalt project, which it owns through a joint venture with China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co. Ltd., Reuters reported Jan. 15.

The Somidez joint venture controls the mine and processing plant, which is held 51% by China Nonferrous and 49% by Gécamines.

Gécamines Chairman Albert Yuma touted the venture as "innovative," with the government having a larger stake compared to other projects in the country. Gécamines owns just 25% of Kamoto Copper Co. SARL, and Glencore PLC subsidiary Katanga Mining Ltd. holds the remaining 75%, the report noted.

The US$880 million Deziwa project, which started construction in May 2018, aims to produce 80,000 tonnes of copper and 8,000 tonnes of cobalt per annum, the report said.

China Nonferrous will operate the project for nine years, with a potential two-year extension, before transferring it to Gécamines, which would operate it for seven to nine years based on the project's known reserves and planned annual production, according to Reuters.