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Trafigura in talks with Congo over financing cobalt buyer

2020-02-14 13:32:50   【Print】
Trading house Trafigura Group Ltd.Asian Metal Copyright The new company will have a monopoly on the purchase of all artisanally mined cobalt ore, which it will sell to processing plants in Congo.Asian Metal Copyright is in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo about financing a new state-controlled company that will buy all the African nation's hand-mined cobalt.

Entreprise Generale du Cobalt (EGC) will need $80 million to $100 million to begin buying cobalt from so-called artisanal miners, according to people familiar with the matter.

State-owned miner Gecamines set up EGC last year in a bid to influence cobalt prices and better regulate small-scale artisanal mining, long criticized for unsafe working conditions and its use of child labor.

Congo supplies more than 60% of world cobalt production, mainly through industrial miners like Glencore Plc and China Molybdenum Co. Mines Minister Willy Kitobo Samsoni said last week that hand-dug metal accounts for a fifth of cobalt output in Congo.

The new company will have a monopoly on the purchase of all artisanally mined cobalt ore, which it will sell to processing plants in Congo.

Trafigura already purchases artisanally mined cobalt in the country, and is funding a pilot project to formalize such digging at Chemaf Sarl's Mutoshi mine.

.Asian Metal Copyright is in talks with the Democratic Republic of Congo about financing a new state-controlled company that will buy all the African nation's hand-mined cobalt.Asian Metal Copyright