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DRC lifts restriction on Sicomines for raw copper, cobalt export

The Democratic Republic of the Congo lifted the order that barred Sinohydro Corp. and China Railway Construction Corp.'s Sicomines copper joint venture from exporting unprocessed copper and cobalt, Reuters reported Oct. 12.

The restriction was lifted Oct. 10, Sicomines Deputy Director General Jean Nzenga said, adding that everything has "returned to normal."

Last month, the government asked the joint venture to export only high-value processed metals as it sought to "ensure the prompt repayment" of the country's continuing US$6 billion minerals-for-infrastructure deal with China.

Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu's chief of staff Valery Mukasa confirmed the restriction was removed but declined to elaborate.