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The Copperbelt area (estimated to contain 55.5m tonnes of copper and 3.6m tonnes of cobalt), which runs through Katanga contains 34% of the world’s cobalt resources and 10% of the world’s copper resources, and during the 1960s and 1970s the DRC was the world’s leading producer of these metals. Copper concessions were formerly managed by Générale des Carriers et des Mines (Gécamines), the state owned parastatal mining company. Since the 1990s the facilities of the Gécamines (currently managed by SOFRECO) have seriously deteriorated, and production in Katanga stagnated with total capacity utilisation estimated at less than 10%, and an alleged external debt of US$2.5 billion. However, Katanga is currently witnessing something of a renaissance with several industrial mines already in production (e.g. Anvil Mining, First Quantum Minerals, Metorex, Forrest, et cetera.) and some massive new plant facilities are in the construction phase (e.g. Katanga Mining, CAMEC, Nikanor’s DCP, Freeport McMoran’s famous Tenke Fungurume Mine) Investment is really booming and the Cadastre Minier has recorded data for 792 granted concessions in Katanga – 70 new ones in the last six months alone, and there are currently 207 mining companies established in Katanga. However, as noted by the recent DfID trade flows study, one of the greatest challenges is the endemic corruption, the involvement of the military and local authorities in the illegal mineral trade, and the failure to enforce the rule of law. There is a general consensus from most agencies that around 60% of mineral produce passes through illegal channels, through Kasumbalesa on the Zambian border (with small amounts passing westwards via Lake Moero).
Staniferous minerals (Coltan and Cassiterite) are widely distributed in the Eastern DRC, particularly throughout the Kivus and Maniema. Key mining areas in the Kivus and Maniema include Bunia, Kalima, Lugushwa, Masisi, Walikale, Kamituga and Mwenga, with most mining rights previously held by the state company Société Minière et Industrielle du Kivu (SOMINKI). These minerals occur in streambeds, alluvial deposits and soft rock, and are easily extracted by artisanal mining methods. Allegedly 75% of coltan within the DRC occurs within and around Kahuzi Biéga National Park which has created concerns regarding the destruction of the environment and protection of endangered species.
The Enterprise Minière de Kisenge Manganese aims to raise manganese production by 40,000 tonnes per year from the Lulua basin in western Katanga. The company already has a stockpile of 540,000 tonnes of 47-50% manganese carbonate.
Gold was first discovered in north eastern DRC in 1903 and a number of mining companies entered the region to exploit its resources. Following independence in 1960, the state nationalised many existing companies including the Belgian company Société des Mines d’Or de Kilo – Moto (SOKIMO) which became the Office des Mines d’Or de Kilo Moto (OKIMO), and around 400 tonnes of gold have been extracted from their concessions in Orientale. The three OKIMO concessions in Haut Ulélé and Ituri are believed to be particularly mineral rich by many in the industry. In the early 1990s OKIMO entered into arrangements with many multinational mining companies including AngloGold Ashanti, Mwana Africa and Moto Gold Mines. At present gold exploration has been confined to the Kilo-Moto Goldfield (Orientale) with the above companies and also the Canadian major Barrick, Banro Corporation in the Twangiza Namoya gold belt (Sud Kivu and Maniema) and the South African major Gold Fields Ltd and Cluff Mining in the Kisenge area in Katanga.
Diamonds were first discovered in the DRC in 1907 in the Kasaï region and the DRC is currently the third largest exporter by volume with diamonds having the highest relative revenue contribution to Congolese mineral exports. The DRC is recognised as one of the leading sources of alluvial diamonds, principally from Kasaï Occidental, with kimberlite diamonds occurring more sporadically in locations within the southwest, northern and northeastern areas. The principal areas include Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Orientale), Tshikapa (Kasaï Occidental) and Kisangani (Orientale). Large deposits are also found in Orientale (Bafwasende and Watsa), Équateur (Gbadolite), Kasaï Orientale (Lodja), Bandundu (Tembo), Maniema (Puna and Lubutu) and Tselha and Louzi in Lower Congo Bas. One of the major players in diamond mining in DRC is La Société Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) an 80% state owned company with a 78,000 km 2 concession area; although after production fell 80% in 2006 (2.22 million carats with only four shipments and around 6% gem quality) leaving 6,500 employees unpaid MIBA has been bankrupt, and Sengamines (previously with Oryx Natural Resources and now Enterprise Minière de Kasaï Orientale (Emikor)) halted production at Tschibue in 2005. Many larger companies are exploring Kasaï Oriental, with First African Diamonds gaining access to the 800 km2 Eminkor concession, BHP Billiton and Southern Era Diamonds have access to a 16,000 km2 concession, and De Beers (who held a virtual monopoly on diamond production until 1997) and twelve local companies having access to concessions covering 60,000 km2 Other companies include Alrosa, Pangea DiamondFields, Gee-Ten, and BRC Diamond Corp. In 2004 a new polishing plant opened at Kananga (Emaxon Finance International and Dan Gertler International (DGI)) and more recently Mwana Africa acquired a 20% stake in MIBA (through Umicore’s subsidiary Sibeka) a company that already owns Gravity Diamonds.
- BHP Billiton is investigating a bauxite deposit in the country's southwest Bas-Congo province, near the Inga hydropower station on the Congo river with the view of opening up a mine and refinery. BHP Billiton already produces aluminum at refineries in South Africa and Mozambique, where it secured cheap supplies of power from Eskom. The company and the DRC government announced in October, 2007 that they are together investing about $8bn in a planned hydro power station at Inga and smelter. The DRC government was planning the giant Inga 3 power plant on the Congo River to produce a maximum of about 4,000 megawatts. BHP Billiton signed an agreement with the government to fund the project's feasibility study in exchange for up to 2,000 megawatts of its power to keep its smelter running. Production would be about 800,000 t of metal. Timing of first production depended on when the power station was built as the building of a power plant takes a minimum of five years and an aluminium smelter around three years.
|Year||Production||Unit of Measure||% Change|
|2002||14600||Metric tons, cobalt content||NA|
|2003||14800||Metric tons, cobalt content||1.37 %|
|2004||20200||Metric tons, cobalt content||36.49 %|
|2005||24500||Metric tons, cobalt content||21.29 %|
|2006||27100||Metric tons, cobalt content||10.61 %|
|2007||25400||Metric tons, cobalt content||-6.27 %|
|2008||32300||Metric tons, cobalt content||27.17 %|
|2009||35500||Metric tons, cobalt content||9.91 %|
|Year||Production||Unit of Measure||% Change|
|2003||30300||Metric tons||10.18 %|
|2004||31800||Metric tons||4.95 %|
|2005||44200||Metric tons||38.99 %|
|2006||83000||Metric tons||87.78 %|
|2007||108000||Metric tons||30.12 %|
|2008||189000||Metric tons||75.00 %|
- Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation plc (ENRC) produces and processes copper and cobalt ore, and includes a road logistics business operating in Central and Southern Africa and a number of development projects in coal (Mozambique), bauxite (Mali), platinum (Zimbabwe) and fluorspar (South Africa). Boss Mining is responsible for the copper and cobalt mining and processing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the state-owned Gécamines as a minority (30%) partner. The operations include open cast mines, crushing, beneficiation, concentrator plants and an electro-winning facility. Assets also include:SMKK holder of exploration permit assets contiguous to the Group’s existing operations in the DRC. ENRC owns 100% of SMKK.In January 2012, ENRC agreed to pay $1.25bn to settle a long-running dispute with Canada's First Quantum Minerals over assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ENRC sparked uproar when it bought the Kolwezi copper mining project in the war-ravaged African country. The operation had belonged to First Quantum but it had been seized by the DRC government, which accused the Canadians of contract violations. City analysts said ENRC's action had alienated shareholders and several big investors, including Standard Life, sold their holdings in protest. The agreement was struck on the basis that First Quantum drops all legal claims against the DRC and ENRC; the DRC has also pledged to terminate its claims against First Quantum.
- Tenke Mining Corporation (Canadian) has completed a feasibility study for the first phase of production at the Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in Katanga Province. Facilities have been designed to initially produce approximately 115,000 metric tonnes per annum of London Grade A quality copper cathode and 8,000 tpa of cobalt in any combination of cobalt metal or intermediate cobalt hydroxide. Freeport-McMoran, who now controls operations, announced in May 2007, that the mine is to start up in October 2008 and would ship copper first. Shipment of cobalt hydroxide, an intermediary product, would begin in December 2008. Tenkwe is owned 24,75% by Tenke Mining Corp, 57,75% by Freeport through Phelps Dodge Corporation ("Phelps Dodge") and 17,5% by Gecamines, the DRC State mining company. Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO, AMEX:LMC) and Tenke Mining Corp. announced on 10 April 2007 that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies to form an intermediate base metals company. The 40-year mine plan is based on first developing the Kwatebala, Fwaulu and Goma deposits. Proven/probable ore reserves developed by Phelps Dodge to U.S. SEC standards for these three areas are 103 million metric tonnes, grading 2,1% copper and 0,3% cobalt (proven 22 million tonnes grading 2,2% copper and 0,30% cobalt, probable 81 million tonnes grading 2,1% copper and 0,31% cobalt). During 2006, approximately 16,000 meters of drilling was performed under the direction of Phelps Dodge for infilling, reserve confirmation, step-out exploration and condemnation. During the 2006 drilling program, mineralization in three new areas just west of Kwatebala was discovered (Mwinansefu, Ditoma and Shinkusu). Concession exploration for 2007, which includes further resource definition drilling at these new areas, is budgeted to accomplish approximately 45,000 meters of drilling. The intent is to have significant additional proven/probable ore reserves defined by the time the initial facilities go into operation to support potential expansions in the early years of initial operations. In accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 standards, the Measured and Indicated Resources for the Tenke Fungurume concessions are 235 million tonnes of 3,01% copper and 0,31% cobalt (Measured 126 million tonnes grading 3,44% copper and 0,33% cobalt and Indicated 109 million tonnes grading 2,52% copper and 0,28% cobalt), with Inferred resources providing an additional 265 million tonnes of 2,6% copper and 0,19% cobalt.
- Nikanor plc, through the company’s joint venture agreement with Gécamines, owns mining permits for three open-pit mines in the DRC: KOV, Tilwezembe and Kananga. The company plans to redevelop these mines, bringing Tilwezembe and Kananga into production in the second half of 2006 and the second half of 2007 respectively, and KOV, the company’s principal asset, by the end of 2009. The KOV mine consists of 4 ore bodies: Kamoto, Oliveira, Virgule, FNSR. It was mined from 1960 to 2000 and 38 million tonnes of ore were mined at an average grade of 5,8% Cu. The resource estimate is 172 million tonnes of ore averaging 5,1% Cu and 0,5% cobalt; theestimated contained metal at 9 million tonnes copper, 800,000 tonnes cobalt. Planned estimated mine life is 30 years. The Kolwezi concentrator is currently processing ore from both Kananga and Tilwezembe. Resources are estimated for Tilwezembe: 5,7 million tonnes (indicated) at 5% copper, 1.0% cobalt, and for Kananga: 6,9 million tonnes (inferred) at 1% copper, 1,3% cobalt. Drilling to increase resources are taking place. Katanga Mining Ltd agreed in November, 2007,to buy Nikanor Plc for about $2 billion to create the world's largest cobalt producer and save both companies about $700 million.
- Katanga Mining Ltd , in a joint venture with the Congolese state-owned mining company, Gécamines, is rehabilitating a major copper-cobalt mine at Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Production at the high-grade Kamoto Mine will begin in late 2007. Once fully operational, it will produce 150,000 tonnes of copper and 5,000 tonnes of cobalt a year at one of the world’s lowest operating costs. The Kamoto mine complex was one of the most productive parts of its operations. The Kamoto underground mine began operation in 1969. It produced an average of three million tonnes of ore a year during the 1980s and to date has produced 59,3 million tonnes of ore, with an average copper content of 4,21 per cent and an average cobalt content of 0,37 per cent. The open pit mines, Dikuluwe, Mashamba East and Mashamba West (together known as DIMA) began operation in 1975, 1984 and 1978 respectively. To date, 57,7 million tonnes of ore has been produced with an average copper content of 4,96 per cent and an average cobalt content of 0,16 per cent. At the peak of production in 1986, a total of 5,5 million tonnes was mined from these pits. By 1998, due to lack of funds, the pits were allowed to flood. No significant production has so far come from the Musonoie-T17 open pit mine. Central African Mining & Exploration Company plc obtained a 11,37% shareholding in Katanga Mining which was increased to 22% by a further purchase of shares on 4 May 2007. Katanga Mining has raised $150m towards its project in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a transaction that has a ten-year offtake agreement.The one-year loan from Glencore is at an interest rate of LIBOR plus four percent. Glencore can convert to loan into 9.16 million Katanga shares. Katanga has 78 million shares in issue.Glencore will buy 100% of Katanga's copper and cobalt output for a decade at market terms. Katanga Mining agreed in November, 2007,to buy Nikanor Plc for about $2 billion. The combined assets will have an annual output of 400,000 tonnes of refined copper and 40,000 tonnes of cobalt a year by 2011.
- Katanga Mining's DRC/China copper/cobalt conundrum (Source: Mineweb)
- Katanga agrees to sell DRC deposits to govt for $825m (Source: Mining Weekly)
- DRC/Chinese/Katanga Mining copper/cobalt deal explained (Source: Mineweb)
- Central African Mining & Exploration Company plc (CAMEC), who owns a copper and cobalt processing facility at Luita, Katanga Province, is exploring the C19, C21 concession areas, using existing data obtained from Gecamines and Union Miniere, with an indicated total resource of 1,5 million tonnes of copper and 500,000 tonnes of cobalt, contained in 70 million tonnes of ore. Camec built up a 22 per cent stake in Katanga Mining. It has also secured soft irrevocables for a further 54 per cent, including the 24 per cent stake held by George Forrest, the largest shareholder in Katanga and one of the powerbrokers in the DRC's mining industry. In August, 2007, Camec was about to make an £800m offer for Katanga Mining. Organic growth alone will enable Camec to produce some 100,000 tonnes of copper and between 6,000-12,000 tonnes of cobalt by the end of 2008. But by taking over Katanga, the company could be producing as much as 250,000 tonnes of copper, according to the company. The justice ministry released a statement at the end of August, 2007, detailing the revocation of the licences. It said C19 has reverted to state-owned miner Gecamines. Camec withdrew its bid for Katanga.Camec said in an overview of the company its Luita metallurgical plant in DRC would be supplied by concessions C19 and C21 and would produce at an annualised rate of 40,000 tonnes of copper and 6,000 tonnes of cobalt by March, 2008. However, the licences to these two concessions are amongst those revoked by the government. C19 is the most important to Camec. CAMEC announced in November, 2007, that it had formed an alliance with Prairie International Ltd, whose investors include the family of Israel's Dan Gertler, to develop the Mukondo deposit and four other areas in Democratic Republic of Congo. The joint venture company will own, operate and develop Mukondo Mountain as well as the mining concession areas previously known as C17, C18, C19 and C21. CAMEC will transfer its 80% stake in BOSS Mining, a DRC-registered company, into the joint venture company. BOSS holds half of Mukondo Mining and concessions C19 and C21, for which the government has revoked the licences. The matter is before the courts in the Congo. Central African Mining and Exploration plans to re-start production at what it says is the world's largest cobalt deposit Mukondo with its joint venture partner Prairie International at the beginning of 2008 to supply the market with 6,000 t of cobalt in 2008. The Mukondo deposit contains 350,000 t of cobalt, of which 250,000 t would be recovered over a period of 15 years."Camec selling the family silver through lack of copper and cobalt"(Source: Mineweb)
- Anvil Mining Ltd (AVM.TO, AVLMF.PK) (now Minmetal Resources Ltd) has one high-grade copper-silver open pit mine that has been in production since 2002, a high grade copper tailings retreatment operation that entered production in late 2005, and an advanced copper-cobalt project currently under evaluation. The Dikulushi mine, Lake Mweru, Katanga Province, has a resource (Dec 2004) of 2,44 million tonnes of ore averaging 7,9% copper and 208 g/t silver. Production in 2005 amounted to 17,816 tonnes copper, 1,7 million ounces silver at an operating cash cost of $0.42/lb Cu. The Mutoshi project includes the Kulu copper tailings mine and the Mutoshi copper-cobalt mine in the Kolwezi region. The estimated resource amounts to 255,000 tonnes of contained copper. In 2005,16,500 tonnes of copper were recovered. At the Kinsevere, Tshifufia, Tshifufiamashi projects, 50 km north of Lubumbashi, estimated resources are 1,582,000 tonnes of contained copper from ore averaging 3,8% copper. The company is also exploring prospects at Lungeshi and Kapulo. Anvil Mining forecast a 10 percent increase in 2008 copper production but a big drop for silver on Wednesday, as it announced record 2007 production from its three mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Toronto-listed miner expects to produce more than 55,000 tonnes of copper and 1.3 million oz of silver in 2008. That compares with 47,633 tonnes of copper and 2.45 million oz of silver in 2007. Anvil operates and has majority stakes in the Dikulushi copper-silver mine, Kinsevere copper mine, and Kulu copper tailings operation.
- International Barytex Resources Ltd (Canadian) holds an option to earn a 65% interest in the Shituru high grade copper-cobalt deposit located at Likasi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Shituru deposit is expected to support a high grade open pit mine with low operating cost and has untested underground potential. Barytex has an option to acquire up to an 86,67% interest in stages in East China Capital Investments Ltd. (ECCI) whose sole asset is an option to acquire a 75% share interest in the Shituru Copper-Cobalt deposit from Generale Des Carrieres et des Mines ("Gecamines"). When fully exercised the interests in the Shituru Property will be indirectly held as follows: 65% by Barytex, 25%, by Gecamines and 10% by the Optionors, Ever Noble Group Ltd. and Megatrend International Holdings Ltd (ENG-MIH). The zone of mineralization is approximately 800 m in strike length with widths of 17 meters for each of the zones exposed at surface.
- Mwana Africa plc purchased Anmercosa Exploration (Congo) s.p.r.l. from Anglo American plc in early 2004. Anmercosa has mining exploration rights over approximately 10,000 square kilometres in the Katanga copper belt, which has showings of copper, zinc, cobalt and gold. As part of the purchase arrangements, Mwana Africa entered into a joint venture with Anglo American in respect of these mining exploration rights. Under the joint venture, Anmercosa is responsible for all feasibility study and other costs, and Anglo American has a carried interest in the joint venture. Anglo American may increase its stake in the joint venture if particular metal or mineral concentration is discovered, and will fund those discoveries to bankable feasibility study. Mwana Africa is also currently in negotiations with Gecamines, the DRC state copper mining company, relating to a previously worked copper/cobalt mine near Anmercosa’s exploration ground in Katanga. Production of copper/cobalt could begin soon after the finalisation of the agreement with Gecamines.
- Africo Resources Ltd (Canadian, ARL.TO) is developing the Kalukundi Project located within the Kolwezi District of Katanga Province in the south-east of the DRC. The Kalukundi deposit has been defined through the evaluation of 4 fragments of Mines series rocks. An ore reserve of oxide materials has been defined within these 4 fragments of 7,8 million tonnes grading 2,44% Cu and 0,69% Co. The economics of the deposit are based on a production rate of 800,000 tonnes per year for nominal annual production of 16,400 tonnes per year copper and 3,800 tonnes per year cobalt.
- Metorex reached an agreement with the Government of the DRC, La Generale et des Mines [“Gecamines”], and Sentinelle Global Investments (Pty) Ltd [“Sentinelle”] to mine and treat the high grade copper/cobalt orebody at Ruashi, and the Ruashi and Etoile stockpiles situated in the Katanga Province of the DRC in May 2004. Probable mineral reserves are 24,120,000 at a grade of 3,78% Cu and 0,79% Co. Planned eventual production is 45,000 tonnes of copper and 3,500 tonnes of cobalt per annum. Metorex increased its effective interest in the two-phase Ruashi project to 80% from 67.2% by buying out the private Sentinelle for R60m in cash and the issue of 12.5m shares at R21.35 each in March, 2007. State-owned Gecamines owns the other 20% of Ruashi. The company announced in July, 2007, that it had acquired 38.7% of Copper Resources Corporation (CRC) and a 5% stake in Miniere De Musoshi Et Kinsenda Sarl (MMK), a 75% owned subsidiary of CRC, for £42.85m, about R600m. Metorex said on 18 January, 2008, that it had unconditionally contracted to acquire a further 6,6% of Copper Resources Corporation, lifting its total holding to 45,6% of the firm. CRC holds a 75% interest in MMK which owns the Kinsenda, Musoshi and Lubembe copper deposits as well as various exploration permits in the southern portion of the Katanga Province of the DRC. Metorex is also drilling the Musonoi copper deposit, close to the two deposits the group is mining at Kolwezi.
- Copper Resources Corporation (AIM:CRC) has three projects that include the Kinsenda copper restart project; completing a feasibility study at Musoshi, an underground copper mine, and starting exploration at Lubembe, an advanced copper exploration project. It has raised £56.3 million, by placing 45 million new common shares with Glencore International AG at 125 pence per share, which it said was enough to develop its three projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Glencore's stake currently represents 35.7% of the enlarged share capital of Copper Resources, which presently stands at 126,065,064 common shares in issue. On November 5, 2007, Metorex offered 73 of its shares for every 100 Copper Resources' shares with cash alternative, overvaluing the company's stock at £1.49 per share, with its CEO Charles Needham saying this would provide the company's shareholders with an exposure "to Metorex's established projects in the DRC and a diversified mineral portfolio". It was announced on the 20 November, 2007, that CRC will revoke the issue of 45 million shares to Glencore as Metorex prepared to issue documents to minority shareholders and made plans around CRC’s assets in the Congo.The board of AIM-traded CRC decided the independent directors Sam Jonah and Mitchell Alland –both of whom subsequently resigned their positions – had acted outside their mandate by offering the shares to the Swiss-based commodity trader.The motivation for the placing of shares with Glencore is not understood. It would have given Glencore a 36% stake in CRC just as Metorex launched its offer to mop up minorities' shares.
- First Quantum Minerals Ltd acquired 100% of Adastra. Adastra was a listed international mining company with its principal asset being the Kolwezi Copper-Cobalt Tailings Project in the DRC. Due to the poor recoveries obtained from the conventional concentrating techniques used, valuable amounts of copper and cobalt were discharged into two tailings dams known as Kingamyambo and Musonoi. The two dams contain 112,8 million t of oxide tailings grading a remarkable 1,49 % copper and 0,32 % cobalt. The company is considering the construction of an initial 35,000 tonne per year copper facility and 5,800 tonne per year cobalt facility which would be designed to be expanded to 105,000 tonnes of copper per year and 17,400 tonnes of cobalt per year.
- Ivanhoe Nickel and Platinum Ltd. (Ivanplats), controlled by Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines, has rights to about 20,000 square kilometres and, besides the copper and cobalt at the Kalongwe copper-cobalt project 10 kilometres north of Tenke Fugurume, also plans to develop the Kengere project, near the town of Kolwezi, which holds zinc, lead, silver and germanium. Investment banking sources expect an initial public offering of Ivanplats shares in 2007 with a dual listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in London. Ivanplat's 95%-owned Kamoa property hosts a large stratiform copper deposit on the Central African Copper belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Katanga province. Sitting roughly 270 km west of the provincial capital, Lubumashi, Kamoa represents one of the more promising undeveloped copper deposits worldwide in terms of tonnage and grade. The company has delineated 348 indicated tonnes grading 2.64% Cu — representing roughly 9.2 million contained tonnes — in addition to 462 million inferred tonnes averaging 2.72% Cu. The resources are defined over a 20-km-by-15-km wide zone contained primarily within an area where Ivanplats has acquired its exploitation licenses, which were granted in late August and carry a 30-year term. The company has agreed to sell an additional 15% of the project to the DRC government, which will bump domestic ownership to 20%. Ivanplats completed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on Kamoa that modelled a US$2 billion mine with a 61-year life. The operation would run at an average throughput rate of 5 million tonnes per year, and produce roughly 143,000 tonnes of copper annually over the first 10 years at cash costs totalling $1.19 per lb. At a $3.50 per lb copper price, the PEA returns a $2 billion after tax net present value and 21.5% internal rate of return, assuming a 10% discount rate. The company intends to spend roughly US$70 million over the next two years at Kamoa on drilling and modelling work.
- TEAL Exploration & Mining Incorporated (Canadian, TSX:TL; JSE:TEL) is exploring the Kalumines Copper-Cobalt Project, a joint venture with La Générale des Carrières et des Mines ("Gécamines"), which comprises approximately 77 square kilometres. The project area hosts four near surface areas of copper mineralization that the Company believes may be exploitable using open-pit mining techniques. Drilling, trenching and pitting were undertaken by previous owners and copper and cobalt mineralization was identified over a strike length in excess of 3 kilometres. The Company has agreed with Gécamines to conduct a drilling program to define the resource and to complete a feasibility study on the project by May 2007. TEAL announced in November, 2007, that its planned mining rate at the Lupoto Copper Project, which forms part of the Kalumines property was achieved in September, 2007. TEAL could also begin producing 12,000 tonnes of copper in early 2008 at the company's 70-percent owned Mwambashi copper project. TEAL Exploration & Mining said in February, 2008, that it had discovered copper and cobalt mineralisation in the Karu East block some 5 km SSE of the Lupoto Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Some of the drilling highlights include: 21 metres grading 2.57% copper; 39 metres grading 3.25% copper, including 15 metres at 0.46% cobalt; and 16 metres grading 0.33% cobalt, it said.
- El Nino Ventures Inc (Canadian, ELNOF.OB, ELN.V) announced in May, 2007, that it had acquired a 70 percent interest in a Joint Venture Agreement with GCP Group Ltd, a private Congolese company. El Nino holds it's initial 70 percent interest in Research Permits No. 5214, 5215, 5216 and 5217. These permits were granted by the Cadastre Miner of the DRC and cover 352 square kilometers in the DRC-Zambian Copperbelt. The permits are located between Lubumbashi and Likasi.
- Gecamines will contribute 10 million metric tonnes of copper deposits to a $6bn joint venture with two Chinese companies. he company will also contribute half a million tonnes of cobalt to a partnership that has been agreed with Sinohydro Corporation and China Railway Engineering Corporation. The two Chinese entities will own a 68% stake in the venture. Under the deal deal signed in January, 2008, by China's Exim Bank and the Kinshasa government, Congolese state miner Gecamines, China's Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Engineering Corp will create a joint mining venture with rights to two mining concessions.Together the Mashamba and Dikuluwe mines contain 10 million tonnes of copper and 2 million tonnes of cobalt, he said.The Chinese investment would be repaid with revenues from the joint venture, called Sicomines.
- Katanga Mining's DRC/China copper/cobalt conundrum (Source: Mineweb)
- Artisianal mining of placer diamond deposits in the DRC takes place along the Bushimaïe and Lubilash tributaries to the Sankuru River near the town of Mbuji-Maye (formerly Bakwanga) in the Kasaï-Oriental province of souther-central DRC, and along the Tshikapa River in the Kasaï-Occidental province.
- Société Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA), which is a joint venture between Belgian company Sibeka (20%) and the DRC government (80%), owns the only functioning mine in the country, Mbuji Mayi. The shareholders of Sibeka were Umicore, 80% and De Beers, 20%. In May 2006 Mwana Africa plc acquired Umicore’s subsidiary, Sibeka. Over the past five years MIBA has produced an average of 6 million carats of diamonds per year. It has mining and exploration titles covering an area in excess of 45,000 km2 where it is discussing joint ventures with major diamond producers.
- De Beers signed a confdentiality report with Oryx Natural Resources as part of a due diligence exercise for the possible development of the Sengamines diamond concession in 2004.
- BRC Diamond Corporation (Canadian and in which gold junior Banro holds a 27,5% stake) controls 5,426 square kilometres and retains a further 11,100 square kilometres through option agreements on ground that historically has been the largest diamond producing region of the DRC. The geology of the region represents an extension of the Angola Craton, which underlies the diamond fields of Lunda Norte Province, in northeast Angola. The company is involved in early stage exploration of both the kimberlite and alluvial potential of the area. By the end of 2007, BRC proposed merging and acquiring all of the outstanding shares of Diamond Core , the South African diamond exploration company, in exchange for BRC shares. BRC had been awarded a further 58 diamond exploration permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the firm said in December, 2007. The Toronto-based company now holds directly, or controls through option agreements, a total of 116 exploration permits, covering an area of 38 140,5 km² in the provinces of East and West Kasai and Bandudu in the south, Equateur and Oriental in the north, and Maniema in the central-east of the DRC.
- SouthernEra has secured 56 exclusive diamond exploration permits covering more than 16,000 square km in the diamond-rich Kasaï Provinces. This area is producing up to 20 million carats of diamonds per year. In a joint venture formed in October 2005 with BHP Billiton on 39 of SouthernEra’s 56 permits, exploration has commenced for primary diamond deposits. In May 2006, SouthernEra signed an agreement with Nyumba Ya Akiba SPRL, a local Congolese company, acquiring an immediate 74% undivided interest in eight exploration permits covering 2,744 km2 of diamond prospective ground in the Kabinda area of the Kasai Oriental Province. SouthernEra has also secured alluvial diamond permits within the Tshikapa / Kasai / Luebo alluvial diamond field in the Kasaï-Occidental Province, and also within a second major alluvial diamond field in the Kasaï-Oriental Province. SouthernEra controls a 34 kilometre stretch of Kasai River and 2 kilometres of the Tshikapa River within this diamond producing area of southwestern DRC. SouthernEra owns a 100% interest in four permits covering 80,35 km2 and a 70 percent interest in a further four permits covering 77,73 km2.
- Gem Diamonds holds various concessions in the Mbelenge, Lubembe, Longatshimo and Tshikapa areas in the Kasai Occidental Province, and the Mbelenge area to the north of this. The Mbelenge project comprises four concessions, each with mining permits, along the Kasai River from the port of Djoku Punda, south for approximately 20km. The Lubembe project comprises 22 concessions on the Tshiumbe and Lubembe Rivers. The area was previously prospected in some detail with small alluvial mines established. Lubembe is considered to have significant kimberlite potential with 17 targets identified in a limited survey in 2005. The Longatshimo project comprises 12 concessions on or around the Longatshimo River, with a combination of mining and reconnaissance permits. The Tshikapa project hosts two concessions on the bank of the Tshikapa River each with mining permits.
- African Diamonds plc (AFCDF.PK, also active in Botswana, Guinea, Sierra Leone), the AIM and Botswana-listed diamond explorer, has acquired a 35,42 percent share in Bugeco S.A., a private Belgian company and with it, the right to appoint a director. The total consideration paid was $1,616,420 in cash. The key asset of Bugeco is a joint venture with De Beers on 21 licences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), covering 807 000 hectares of prospective diamondiferous ground. Initial exploration has discovered several new kimberlites, in an area where alluvial diamonds are already in evidence. Analysis indicates the presence of microdiamonds in several of the newly discovered kimberlites, n what appears to be two new kimberlite clusters. Reconnaissance magnetic and detailed airborne magnetic (DAF) geophysical surveys have been completed over the entire licence area and ground magnetic, gravity and electromagnetic surveys over specific anomalies have resulted in the identification of new drill targets. Extensive ground sampling using helicopter and vehicle access is ongoing. The 2007 work programme will focus on further discovery drilling and delineation. This work will prioritise bulk sampling.
- Pangea Diamond Fields plc is exploring the the Yusufu and Ikulu alluvial projects on the Longatshimo River, and intends bulk sampling the properties. A plant site has been identified and an operational team is in the process of being assembled. The required plant has been designed and is currently being manufactured, with operations expected to commence mid 2007. It was reported in January, 2008, that a bulk sampling plant had arrived at Pangea Diamondfield's Longatshimo River project and plant construction was in progress.
- Mwana Afica plc bought Australian firm, Gravity Diamonds, which has been exploring rights held by BHP Billiton in the Kasai Crater region, in November 2006, for $34m , and announced on March 16, 2007, a C$69.7 m share offer for SouthernEra which has adjacent properties.
- Rockwell Ventures Inc (Canadian, RVINF.OB, RVI.V) has rights over 60 km along the Cuango River where artisanal mining is taking place.
- Lindian Resources Ltd is exploring the Tshikapa diamond field, in the West Kasai region of the DRC. The area is about 600 km east-southeast of Kinshasa, the capital of DRC. The Tshikapa Diamond Project consists of four licence areas covering about 800 sq km.
Gold mining in Orientale Province
|Year||Production||Unit of Measure||% Change|
- Moto Gold Mines Ltd (Australian) is exploring the Kilo Moto goldfield in Ituri Province. The project includes the following prospects: Pakaka and Pamao, Gorumbwa, Kibali, Durba – Karagba, Megi – Mengu, Ndala, Kombokolo, Agbarabo - Tete Bakangwe. The resource estimate is an indicated 55,40 million tonnes at 2,9 g/t Au for a total of 5,076 million oz gold and 88,63 million tonnes at 3,8 g/t Au for 10,794 million oz of inferred resources of gold. Moto risks having its mining permits cancelled after Okimo, the state-owned gold mining company, accused the company of failing to meet contracts, reported Reuters. Moto's Congolese unit had 90 days to honor contracts with Okimo, or it may have its mining leases revoked or reviewed, the newswire said on 26 January 2007, citing Okimo CEO Victor Kasongo. In terms of the contracts, Moto had committed to repair mining infrastructure and conduct geological surveys in return for a 60% stake in mineral concessions. A feasibility study, released in December, 2007, evaluated the gold project's Indicated Mineral Resources of 77.8 million tons at 2.8 g/t Au for 7.0 million oz, but did not take into account an additional Inferred Mineral Resource base of 98.9 million tons at 3.8 g/t Au for 12.1 million oz, which it says has a conversion rate of close to 100% within key deposits.Moto is planning a US$483-million mine, which includes an US$80-million hydroelectric power station, US$78-million for initial mining fleets and an additional US$47-million construction contingency.It would be a 3.3 million oz opencast gold mine with a life of 8.5 years, and the six-pit mine is expected to produce 400,000 oz of gold a year. Moto Goldmines reported a 47% increase in Indicated Mineral Resources at the Moto Gold Project in February,2008. Global Mineral Resources for the Project, above a 1.0 g/t Au reporting cut-off, are now estimated to be: Indicated Mineral Resources 95.3 million t @ 3.4 g/t for 10.3 million oz Au Inferred Mineral Resources 96.5 Mt @ 3.6 g/t for 11.3 million oz Au.
- Many of Randgold Resources’ existing mines were borne from the group’s own greenfield exploration projects – an exception being Kibali, which it and AngloGold acquired as an exploration project in a C$546m cash-and-share transaction for Moto Goldmines in 2009. The asset has an existing resource base of over 10 million ounces. Kibali will help raise Randgold’s annual production to more than 1.2 million ounces by 2014 from about 800,000 in 2012.. The mine will produce at least 30,000 ounces in 2013, 550,000 in 2014 and average about 600,000 ounces in its first eight years.
- Banro Corporation (Canadian, AMEX:BAA; TSX:BAA) is exploring the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema Provinces of the DRC. The project includes the following prospects: Twangiza, Lugushwa, Namoya and Kamituga. The current resource estimate is 2,72 million oz of measured and indicated resources, plus inferred resources of 8,11 million oz of gold at 1 g/t Au cut-off. According to sources at the Denver Gold Forum in September, 2007, the TSX and AMEX-listed company has retained Canadian investment bank RBC Capital Markets to run a bidding and due diligence process; apparently with the view of selling the company. The two most advanced projects are Twangiza and Namoya. Prefeasibility studies on both would be completed in the first quarter of 2008 and bankable feasibility studies would be done by the third quarter of 2008. Twangiza currently has a total resource estimated at 6.24 million oz of gold. Planning at this stage is for a mine producing 300,000 oz/year over a life of about 13 years at an average cost of $275/oz over the life-of-mine. Namoya is a much smaller deposit with a resource of 1.35 million oz at this stage and forecast average costs of $235/oz over the anticipated life-of-mine.
Source: Banro Corporation
- Gold Fields (South African, NYSE:GFI; JSE:GFIELDS) is doing early stage exploration on the Kisenge Project, Katanga Province in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, some 680 kilometres from the main city of Lubumbashi.
- Elemental Minerals Ltd is to acquire a 60 per cent interest in the Musefu gold project in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Angola. Gold was discovered there in 1920 and mining began by Belgian interests in 1932. Records kept until 1958 show that total production was 80,385 oz but no exploration work has been done at Musefu for more than 50 years. Historic drilling at one prospect shows intersections including 12,5 m at 7,51 g/t gold and 5 m at 16,09 g/t.
- Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo (WBK), a Congolese mineral exploration and exploitation company, has filed litigation to validate its Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint exploration venture with La Quinta Resources Corporation, (LAQ.V),which has been thrown into doubt by claims by Banro Corporation’s Congolese subsidiary. La Quinta announced that WBK has commenced an action in a commercial court in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to clear claims by Banro Congo, that Banro signed an earlier agreement concerning WBK's claimed concessions in Maniema and South Kivu Provinces in south eastern DRC.The court proceedings seek to block Banro Congo from exploring the concessions as well as compelling the company to pay damages and costs for interference.The disputed area has 32 exploration licences held by WBK, totalling 7,010 square kilometres, located adjacent and between Banro’s Lugushwa and Namoya properties in the south of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, which extend 120 kilometres to the west.WBK holds extensive mineral leases in the DRC, and has numerous diamond exploration agreements. It has also been instrumental in introducing other companies into the DRC for copper and cobalt exploration. In March, 2007, Banro issued the following statement:The properties within the WBK licence area have a long history of both formal and informal mining. They were extensively mined mainly for alluvial gold by BelgikaOr from the early 1940s to the 1970s after which formal mining and exploration ceased.At least six previous mining sites can be easily identified, and artisanal mining continues on much of the target areas today.
- La Quinta Resources Corporation (LAQ.V) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AMIKI (Association Miniere du Kivu sprl) to lease, or acquire all of the Exploration and Exploitation rights of AMIKI on the Kampene Project in South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kampene project covers 49 square Kilometers and includes an Exploration Licence and a Small Miner's Licence to mine and sell all mineral products from the Licence area including Gold, Silver, Coltan, (Columbite and Tantalite) and Cassiterite. Kampene has a long history of extensive mineral production dating back to the 1940's and the Belgian era, when mineral production for Gold, Cassiterite and Coltan formed the economic basis for the formation of the Town of Kampene, complete with its power plant, airstrip, schools churches and hospital. Since the Belgians left, production of gold has continued, first for the Congolese government during the Mobutu era and subsequently by the Rwandan Army during the second war of Liberation. AMIKI have held these claims since 1981 and reclaimed the property after the United Nations supported 2003 Peace Accord. Following the democratic election of 2006 and subsequent revision of the Congolese Mining Laws AMIKI has now been able to convert the licences to a modern Permis d'exploitation number 235 including a Small Miners Exploitation licence allowing immediate production from the site.The Kampene Project lies adjacent to a 7,000 square kilometre licence area for gold exploration covering the southern portion of the Twangiza - Namoya Gold Belt, owned by Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo sprl, (WBK) which is the subject of a separate Agreement between LAQ and WBK and is currently in a due diligence process.
- Mwana Africa plc has a joint venture agreement (80%) with Office des Mines d’Or de Kilomoto (Okimo) over an exploration property in the north-east of the DRC. The joint venture was signed in June 2005. The 3,000 square kilometres project area is a 100 km long belt running from Kilomines, adjacent to AngloGold Ashanti to the south, the Government’s Kilo Moto holdings to the north and to the east of ground held by Gold Fields. It is also located around the Zani-Kodo gold mine. Zani project started before independence and reached total production of 572,000 tonnes at 6,5 g/t, but was abandoned due to unrest in 1964 during the civil war. Zani’s mineralized zone at the surface is 500m long and up to 30m wide, it consists of silicification in sheared greenstone with gold contained in sulphides. At the time of closure Zani’s sulphide reserve was 352,000 tonnes at 8,15 g/t.
- AngloGold Ashanti (South Africa, NYSE:AU; JSE:ANG) is exploring the Mongbwalu project, a 10 by 15 km block, in the northeast. An inferred resource of two-million ounces to three-million oz has been estimated and an airborne geophysical survey to define additional regional drill targets was planned for 2007, in addition to 70 000 m of drilling.
- Erongo Energy Limited (ASX code: ERN) is focused on exploring the Maniema Project, which covers 930km² and is located in east central Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa. The Maniema Project is prospective for gold and tin, and is in the same geological setting as the Banro and Kilo-Moto gold deposits. Seven target areas have been identified from previous work, none of which have been previously drill tested. At Kabotshome on Prospect 4804, mineralisation has been identified over more than 1km, with widths of more than 80m. It remains open to the north, south and at depth. Results have included 25m at 2.17 g/t Au from 74m, including 7.25m at 4.89 g/t Au, and 18m at 2.03 g/t Au from 68m including 4m at 6.38 g/t Au. The results confirmed the potential for a low-grade deposit at open pittable depths and a style of mineralisation that is similar to Banro’s Twangiza and Namoya deposits. Erongo completed a drilling program at the Mitunda and Mbutu prospects in June 2012 that potentially identified two flat-lying mineralised structures. The Company is now planning further diamond drilling at Kabotshome, with results expected by August 2012. Erongo also plans to explore the Kalulu Prospect, a tin soil anomaly surrounded by extensive artisanal workings, in 2012. The Company is currently completing a due diligence review of the Giro Gold Project, in northeast DRC. Erongo has entered into an agreement to acquire up to 60% of four tenements, which are west of Randgold Resources' multi-million ounce Kibali deposits. Evaluation was expected to be complete in July 2012.
- Oil production: 21,090 bbl/day (2004)
- Oil exports: 21,090 bbl/day (2006 est.)
- Oil proved reserves: 1.538 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
- Natural gas proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
- Congo Gulf Oil Company (owned by Chevron of the United States (50%), Teikoku Oil Company Ltd of Japan (32.3%), and Unocal Corporation, which merged with Chevron in 2005, (17.7%)] produced approximately 17,000 bbl/d of crude petroleum from seven offshore wells in 2000. Congo Gulf Oil accounted for about 60% of national petroleum production.
- Perenco operates six onshore fields, with an output of approximately 20,000 barrels per day. Perenco is also the operator of DRC's offshore concession and terminal - assets it acquired from Chevron in 2004.
- Other companies that were operating in Congo (Kinshasa) included Ocelot International Ltd and Japan National Oil Corporation.
- Tullow Oil signed a production Sharing Agreement (PSA) in July 2006 to gain a 48.5% operated interest in Blocks I and II in the prospective Albertine Graben. Blocks I and II cover some 6,500 sq km over the onshore and offshore acreage in Congo (DRC) part of the Albertine Graben which extends into neighbouring Uganda. The planned work programme comprises a number of technical studies in preparation for the acquisition of 400 km of 2D seismic data during the first licence period. Tullow has interests (50-100%) in all three blocks comprising the Ugandan part of the graben where recent exploration has recently proven the existence of a working hydrocarbon system. Five oil discoveries in the Albertine Basin in Uganda have significantly enhanced the prospectivity of the region. As a result an aggressive exploration and appraisal programme is planned for Uganda and Congo (DRC).
- Heritage Oil Corporation signed a Production Sharing Agreement in the DRC in July 2006 for a 39.5% interest in Blocks I and II in the prospective Albert Basin. Blocks I and II cover over 6,000 km2 over the onshore and offshore acreage in the DRC part of the Albert Basin that extends into neighbouring Uganda.
|Year||Production||Unit of Measure||% Change|
|2003||800||Metric tons||166.67 %|
|2004||3200||Metric tons||300.00 %|
|2005||4400||Metric tons||37.50 %|
|2006||3800||Metric tons||-13.64 %|
|2007||8900||Metric tons||134.21 %|
|2008||11800||Metric tons||32.58 %|
|2009||9400||Metric tons||-20.34 %|
|Year||Production||Unit of Measure||% Change|
|2003||120||Metric tons, tungsten content||NA|
|2004||20||Metric tons, tungsten content||-83.33 %|
|2005||180||Metric tons, tungsten content||800.00 %|
|2006||500||Metric tons, tungsten content||177.78 %|
|2007||570||Metric tons, tungsten content||14.00 %|
|2008||340||Metric tons, tungsten content||-40.35 %|
|2009||170||Metric tons, tungsten content||-50.00 %|
- UraMin was reportedly interested in buying the Shinkolobwe uranium mine.
- Brinkley Mining plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") which will provide the company's 70% owned subsidiary, Brinkley Africa Ltd, with priority access to the DRC’s uranium resources. The Congo government subsequently said it would block a joint venture between Brinkley Mining and the Atomic Energy Authority (CGEA) after finding terms of a memorandum of understanding between the parties to be 'questionable'.
- Gécamines (La Générale des Carrières et des Mines), the Congolese state-owned mining company, owns the Kipushi zinc mine. At the height of production, in the late 1980s, Kipushi produced 143,000 tonnes of zinc and 43,000 tonnes of copper. Mining at Kipushi was stopped in 1993 when the government of Mobutu Sese Seko ran out of funds. The mine has 17 million tonnes of ore, with 2,83 million tonnes of zinc and nearly 400,000 tonnes of copper. Gecamines has invited bids to restart the mine despite South African miner Exxaro Resources, formerly Kumba Resources, and Canada’s First Quantum Minerals claim to rights to the project.
- United Resources won the tender to develop the deposit and will invest up to $400m in the project, Gecamines MD Paul Fortin, announced in February,2007. United Resources, a group of financial companies, won the tender because it offered Gecamines a 37% stake in the project. South Africa's Exxaro Resources and First Quantum Minerals have taken the matter to court in Belgium.
- A Belgian court ruled on 23 March, 2007, that Congolese mining company Gecamines suspend its tender for investors to develop the Kiphusi zinc deposit, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, paving the way for Exxaro Resources and First Quantum to file lawsuits, that could run into millions of dollars, against the State-owned firm. Exxaro and First Quantum could sue Gecamines on the merits of the case and request the enforcement of the agreements.
- Ivanplats' Kipushi zinc-copper project marks a second asset in the DRC's Katanga province. Kipushi lies 30 km southwest of Lubumbashi, and produced roughly 60 million tonnes grading 11.03% Zn and 6.78% Cu from 1924 to 1993. Ivanplats owns 68% of the project, with the DRC's state-owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines) holding the remainder. Ivanplats submitted an application to extend its exploitation permit at Kipushi on June 15. The property hosts surface mining and processing infrastructure, including: two concentrators, administrative offices, workshops and housing, as well as a connection to the national power grid. Underground access is provided through five shafts, with the No.5 shaft providing primary access to the lower levels. Ivanplats is in the process of dewatering the mine in a bid to refurbish existing shaft infrastructure to the 1,150-m level. According to filings the company estimates US$30 million in remaining expenditures on the refurbishment over the next two years. Kipushi holds a historic resource totalling 17 million indicated tonnes grading 2.23% Cu and 16.76% Zn. But the company's underground exploration will focus on the Big Zinc high grade zone, which hosts 4.7 million historic tonnes grading 38.6% Zn and 0.76% Cu.
Table Bay Hotel drama (Katanga mineral riches in play in Cape Town)
Posted: Wednesday , 06 Feb 2008
You get seal-swallowing Great White Sharks offshore the environs of Cape Town, but this week the city opened its wind-punched arms to an annual international carnival of decadence and bad taste known as the mining Indaba. At one point, Cynthia Carroll, the CEO of Anglo American (AAL LN, £28.30 a share), once the world's leading mining company, nearly brushed shoulders with Niko Shefer, a rum runner who had just returned from a Big Shark Hunt.
This so nearly happened in the foyer of the Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town's version of Dubai's decadent seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel. Shefer was followed by a flapping entourage of motley characters, most of them Congolese, but also including a pony-tailed paleface who looked as if he might have just hit town with some interesting business from Mexico.
The whispers around the hotel were that Shefer had hired 10 rooms in the Table Bay Hotel for the four day duration of the Indaba, along with five big fat depraved limousines. Shefer's spokesman, at last count, one Chris Vick, was not taking calls to confirm or deny the details of Shefer's post-shark attack on the Table Bay Hotel.
Vick is known across the planet for his impassioned appeals that the world rinses its memory of Shefer's criminal conviction on corruption charges, way back in 1989. Well, everyone's naturally forgotten that, but it's difficult to erase the memory of Shefer being declared a personal non grata in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just six months ago, after his name was connected to a tangled would-be uranium deal. Nobody, but nobody, should let Shefer near that stuff.
Carroll, who is above suspicion and whiter than Caesar's wife, gave a speech that said nothing negative about anything in the world, scarcely recognising last month's meltdown at Eskom, one of the greatest institutional failures in African history. In another lily-white speech, this one dripping with schmooze, Victor Kasongo, DRC Vice Minister of Mines, outlined a "new" plan to "fast track" solutions to his country's review of mining contracts. The media happily doled out the story, the biggest one at this year's Indaba, to their audiences.
Victor Kasongo is nothing more than a runner for the Holy Trio: DRC president Joseph Kabila, along with his closest adviser, Augustine Katumba Mwanke, and a notoriously litigious paleface who can be handily referred to as The Real Shark Hunt. Kasongo's job down in Cape Town was to sound like a vegetarian Great White Shark, but always looking like a Great White Shark craving fresh meat. On Wednesday morning he bored hundreds of people to tears and sleep over a breakfast that should have been depraved and decadent and highly meaningful.
In the Real Shark Hunt, mining companies backed by billions of dollars of Western capital are being kicked around like packs of rats and other assorted small vermin.
A few weeks back, Toronto-listed Katanga Mining (KAT CN, C$13.02) - currently merging with London-listed Nikanor - (NKR LN, £3.99) was forced by DRC parastatal Gécamines (La Générale des Carrières et des Mines) to surrender two of its valuable properties into a Chinese deal. Katanga Mining has admitted to the deal, but has politely declined to explain what it received as a quid pro quo.
And so it goes. There is no end of decadent and bizarre deals going down in Katanga Province , which houses the majority of the DRC's copper, cobalt, zinc and uranium riches. In a July 18 2006 report to the UN's Security Council, the Group of Experts on the DRC raised serious questions over concession rights held by individuals of unknown or questionable standing. Noting that the DRC's Mining Cadastre listed 2,144 mining and quarrying concessions, the Group of Experts argued that "an undetermined number appear to be held by concessionaires affiliated with investors whose personal and professional integrity is doubtful".
This lack of transparency, the Group of Experts argued, provided "hiding places for sanctioned individuals, financiers of embargo violators and for other individuals who simply do not meet the standards of the Code Minier". As an example of a "due diligence failure", the report referred to Camec (CFM LN , £0.45), and noted that Conrad Muller "Billy" Rautenbach, a major shareholder in Camec, was wanted by the authorities of South Africa for fraud and theft. Rautenbach has ostensibly sold Boss Mining (concessions 467 and 469) and also concessions 1590-1605 to Camec. Rautenbach was last year declared a persona non grata in the DRC. Like Shefer, he is desperately trying to have the ban lifted. Like Shefer, he is wont to try and do extraordinary things, but he is excluded from shark hunts in landlocked Zimbabwe.
These days, Camec has joined forces with an entity known as Prairie to list the "Mukondo JV", representing what may well be the world's richest cobalt deposit, on a big stock exchange. Among the cash raised from the would-be listing, a minimum of $400m will go to Prairie, and $170m to Camec. This week, a coalition of NGOs published audit reports - signed by Ernst & Young - of four of the entities going into the Mukondo JV, Boss Mining, Kababankola Mining Company, Mukondo Mining, and La Société Minière de Kabolela et de Kipese sprl, insisting that prosecutors and stock exchange regulators in Europe and North America carefully examine the audits "to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to trigger prosecutions".
Back on due diligence failures, the UN Group of Experts report also referred to Ruashi Mining (concessions 627, 578, and 72), noting that Shefer, "ex-convict and currently indicted by the authorities of South Africa, is the controlling shareholder of Ruashi Mining". Under cover of layers of entities, including Sentinelle Global Investments, Shefer "sold" Ruashi to Metorex (MTX SJ, R19.66), and later realized benefits to the tune of around $400m, according to individuals familiar with the situation. After events that unfolded this week, Metorex could show its class by explaining one or two things in and around Compagnie Miniere du Sud Katanga.
There is also the would-be swindle of Kalukundi, a glorious copper-cobalt asset that belongs to Africo (ARL CN, C$1.69). As for The Real Shark Hunt, the free speculation amid the depravity and decadence of this year's Indaba carnival was that the people who know the most about that story are likely to be Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg and Lloyd Pengilly of JP Morgan Cazenove.
Then there is Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, governor of Katanga Province, but his is one of many stories for another day.
|Selected DRC/Zambia copper miners|| |
|First Quantum|| |
|Katanga Mining|| |
|Copper Resources|| |
|Mwana Africa|| |
|African Copper|| |
|Zambezi Resources|| |
|African Eagle|| |
|BHP Billiton|| |
|* 12-month high|
Saturday, February 9, 2008
- In January 2008 the International Rescue Committee, who is also discussed in this article, released its second survey of mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, estimating that 5,400,000 people have died, or some 1500 people every day. Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: an Ongoing Crisis, International Rescue Committee, January 2008. However, IRC statistics are highly biased and politicized. See: keith harmon snow, “Over Five Million Dead in Congo?” Dissident Voice, February 4, 2008. #
- Personal interview, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 2006. #
- keith harmon snow, “Warlord’s Deadly Battle, Toward Freedom, 2007. #
- Officers: Antonio Teixeira, President & CEO; Robert G. Rainey, CFO; Brett Thompson, COO, Mining; Dimitri (Jimmy) Kanakakis, Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs; Bernard Poznanski, Corporate Secretary; Board Members: Brian Menell, Richard Dorfman, Bruce Holmes, Robert Rainey, Antonio Teixeira. #
- See: “Africa/Diamonds: Rough diamonds,” Africa Confidential, 5 March 2004, Vol. 45, No. 5; and “Equatorial Guinea: All Theft is Property,” Africa Confidential, 17 Nov. 2006, Vol. 47, No. 23: p. 12. #
- Tim Hoare, the head of the advisers that launched it, Canaccord Adams, sits alongside rock star and champion of Africa Bob Geldof on the board of the television-production company Ten Alps. See: Ben Laurance, “Energy firm link to blood diamonds,” The Sunday Times, December 30, 2007. #
- See: keith harmon snow, “A People’s History of Congo’s Jean-Pierre Bemba,” Toward Freedom, September 18, 2007. #
- Yossi Melman and Asaf Carmel, “Diamond in the rough,” Haaretz, March 24, 2005. # # #
- See: keith harmon snow, “Congo’s President Joseph Kabila: Dynasty or Travesty?” Toward Freedom, November 13, 2007. #
- Private interview, Kinshasa, August 2006. #
- See: “Terror in the Diamond Fields: Excessive Force and Impunity in the DRC,” Amnesty International Canada; Democratic Republic of Congo: Government should investigate human rights violations in the Mbuji Mayi diamond fields, Amnesty International, October 22, 2002. #
- Making a Killing: The Diamond Trade in Government Controlled DRC, Amnesty International, 2002, AFR 62/017/2002 22/10/2002. #
- See: “ICEM protests Congo’s Transport, Diamond Injustices,” International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Worker’s Union, May 7, 2007. #
- “Diamond miners killed in DR Congo,” BBC News, 7 August 2006. #
- See: Jewish Africa and Chabad. #
- Private communication, Rabbi Chlomo Bentolila, August 16, 2007. #
- “Lag Baomer in Kinshasa,” June 2005. #
- “Visite de l’Ambassadeur Revah a’ Kinshasa,” Kadima 010, June-September 2007. #
- See: keith harmon snow, “Behind the Scenes: Warlord’s Deadly Battle in Congo,” Toward Freedom, August 9, 2007. #
- Nicole Gaouette, “Inside Israel’s diamond trade: a family affair,” Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002. #
- Yitzhak Danon, “Top Israelis accused of illegal diamond deals: Israel: Lawsuit claims corruption in Congo diamonds for arms deal,” Globes (Israel), 18 February 2004. See also: “Column One: What Lieberman Wants,” Jerusalem Post, October 20, 2006. # #
- Christian Dietrich, “Blood Diamonds: Effective African-Based Monopolies,” African Security Review, Vol. 10, No 3., 2001. #
- Yitzhak Danon, “Top Israelis accused of illegal diamond deals: Israel: Lawsuit claims corruption in Congo diamonds for arms deal,” Globes (Israel), 18 February 2004. #
- See: keith harmon snow, “Behind the Scenes: Warlord’s Deadly Battle in Congo,” Toward Freedom, August 9, 2007. The Angolan military protected Kinshasa during the so-called “rebellion” involving Rwanda and Uganda. The Angolans do not like the Rwandans or Ugandans due to their military and commercial relations with Angolan rebels, the União Nacionalpara a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), and because Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers invaded Angola after their failed bid to control the Congo’s strategic Inga Dam power station and Matadi port between 1998 and 2001. Angola sent troops to Congo in July and August 2006, and there were black Angolan troops amongst the European Union mercenary forces—EUFOR—sent to quell any possible rebellions during the “historic national elections.” Angola also sent troops to Congo to back Kabila during the warlord’s deadly battle of March 2007. #
- “Presidential Chopper,” Africa Confidential, Vol. 47 Number 23, November 17, 2006. #
- See: Overseas Security Services Congo sprl web site. # #
- OSS-Congo owner Philippe de Moerloose communicated with this author after his name appeared in a prior story mentioning OSS-Congo and offered to meet in Europe and provide the author with the “correct” information about his companies operations in Congo. Repeated communications with De Moerloose seeking clarifications and information for this story were not answered. #
- See e.g., SEC info on Lenorth Holdings and SDG Marketing. #
- Lior Chorev, The First [DRC] Diamond Polishing Plant to Move into Full Production, Press Release, DGI Group of Companies, January 11, 2005. #
- ARAD Communications web site. #
- Private communication, Lior Chorev, January 19, 2008. #
- See: keith harmon snow, “Over Five Million Dead in Congo?” Dissident Voice, February 4, 2008. #
- Private email communication, Lior Chorev, January 19, 2008. See also: Gil Hoffman, “Olmert, Netanyahu Rivalry Gets Personal,” Israel.jpost.com, March 26, 2006; “Sharon allies and foes joust over new party as March 28 elections are set,” Associated Press, November 22, 2005. #
- NATO Transformation, the Mediterranean Dialog, and NATO-Israel Relations, October 23, 2006. #
- Yossi Melman and Asaf Carmel, “Diamond in the Rough,” Haaretz, March 24, 2005. #
- The Olayan Group web site. #
- The Steinmetz Group. #
- Gil Hoffman, “Politics; Unconscious Legacy,” Jerusalem Post, features.jpost.com, January 3, 2008. # #
- United Nations Panel of Experts Confidential Report. #
- Under the contract Emaxon granted Miba loans totaling $5-million in 2003, and a further $10-million subsequently. In exchange, Emaxon gained rights to 88% of Miba’s production at a discount, formally, of 5%. #
- Herzog, Fox and Neeman web site. #
- Tevapharm. #
- See: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
- On Neeman and Hurvitz, see Markstone Capital Group; on Robert Rotberg, Maurice Templesman and the Harvard Belfer Center, see: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
- Criminal rackets known to the United Nations security were or some time illegally shipping uranium and cobalt out of Katanga by road to Zimbabwe and Tanzania (private interview, U.N. Official, 2006). #
- Israel and Africa: Assessing the Past, Envisioning the Future, The Africa Institute American Jewish Committee and The Harold Hartog School Tel Aviv University, May 2006. #
- Ron Ben-Yishai and Molly Camprier-Kritz, “The Murder Request Went to the Wrong Address,” Yediot Aharonot weekend supplement on 19 September 1999. #
- Nicole Gaouette, “Inside Israel’s diamond trade: a family affair,” Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002. # #
- For a discussion of the veracity of these facts and more on the “Russian Military Brotherhood” see: Central Africa Minerals and Arms Research Bulletin, Edition 2, International Peace Information Service, June 18, 2001. #
- Jimmy Johnson, “Israelis and Hezbollah Haven’t Always Been Enemies,” Appearing in Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions USA, 6 September 2006. #
- Report of the Panel of Experts Appointed Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1306 (2000), Paragraph 19, in Relation to Sierra Leone, December 2000. #
- Energem web site; and also: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
- Mineweb. #
- Charles Higham, Trading With The Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949, Delacorte Press, 1983. # #
- Susan Mazur, “Deeper Into the Dillon-Euphronios Nexus with David N. Gibbs,” SCOOP, April 26, 2006. #
- David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Chicago Press, 1991. #
- Eric Onstad, “UPDATE 2-CAMEC shares soar after agrees Congo joint venture,” Reuters, Nov. 7, 2007. #
- Brenna Chigonga, “Zimbabwe: Meet Country’s Richest People,” The Herald, July 14, 2007. #
- See: Maurice Carney, “Congo’s Contract Review,” Pambazuka News, January 17, 2008. #
- Martin Creamer, “Funded NIKANOR presses on with $1,8bn copper mine, refinery,” Mining Weekly, September 21, 2007. #
- Julie Walker, “Hersovs and Menells are in no hurry to yield control of Anglovaal,” Sunday Times. #
- Evelyn Groenink, “Arms deal: Who got R1bn in pay-offs?” Mail & Guardian, January 12, 2007. #
- Teal Exploration & Mining web site. #
- Press Release: Kenya-Uganda Oil Products Pipeline, Kenya-Uganda Joint Co-coordinating Commission for Extension of Oil Pipeline, August 17, 2005; see also: Energem web site. #
- François Misser and Olivier Vallée, “Des matières premières toujours convoitées. Les nouveaux acteurs du secteur minier Africain,” Le Monde Diplomatique, May 1998, p.24-25; also Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Mellon Press, 1999. #
- Diamond Fields International Management. #
- ‘Inculpations à la Belgolaise’, Le Libre Belgique, 4 June 2004. #
- Private interview, Kinshasa, DRC, April 2007. #
- Norm Dixon, “Congo Massacre: Australian mining company’s managers indicted,” Green Left Review, November 4, 2006. #
- His name is known, but he threatened to track down and break the author’s legs if he is revealed. #
- See: Barry Sergeant, “NIKANOR’s Quandry: Meet Dan the Man, King of the Congo,” MoneyWeb, 4 April 2007; “Congo Kinshasa: After the Election” Africa Confidential, Vol. 47, No. 23, 17 Nov. 2006; and United Nations Security Council Report to the Secretary General, S/2003/1027, 23 October 2003. #
- George Forrest International. #
- Personal investigation, Ndola, Zambia copperbelt mines, 2000. #
- Nikanor. #
- These are: the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Federal Foreign Office; Federal Ministry of Finance; and Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor. Since 1998 the Supervisory Board Chairman has been State Secretary Erich Stather from the BMZ. #
- Karen Hayes and Richard Burge, Coltan Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo: How tantalum-using industries can commit to the reconstruction of the DRC, Fauna & Flora Int’l, 2003. #
- NIKANOR web site. #
- Metallurg Group. #
- See keith harmon snow, “Three Cheers for Eve Ensler? Propaganda, White Collar Crime, and Sexual Violence in Eastern Congo,” Z Magazine on-line (Z-Net), October 24, 2007. #
- “Moshe Schnitzer: Un Legende s’en est Allee,” Kadima 010, June-September 2007. #
- “The Israel Diamond Exchange — Kiryat Moshe Schnitzer”, Diamond Key, 2002. #
Posted by Carel van der Merwe at 3.10.12