It is estimated that the mine contains deposits of approximately 10 million tonnes of copper and 6 million of cobalt deposits, positioning it to be one of the ten largest mines in the world.

“This opening marks a significant milestone in the Sicomines project, which aims to harness the DRC’s natural resources, create new jobs and create $3 billion in new infrastructure projects, including roads, railways and hospitals,” said Moise Ekanga, executive secretary of the Office for the Coordination and Monitoring of the Sino- Congolese Program (BCPSC).

“This project is good news for the Congolese economy and illustrates that the DRC is open for business,” Mr. Ekanga said.

Sicomines Sarl is a joint venture between Congolese mining company Gecamines SA, China‘s Sinohydro and the China Railway Group Limited, agreed upon in 2007 as part of a minerals-for-infrastructure deal, which will result in $3 billion for infrastructure plus an additional $3 billion to develop Sicomines, with all the loans to be repaid with mining profits.

The Export-Import Bank of China has already disbursed $1 billion in infrastructure projects. The DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, used to make rechargeable batteries, and a leading producer of copper. Last year, the DRC produced a record one-million plus tonnes of copper.



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