DRC looking to ditch Glencore’s copper project

Gecamines, a Congolese state-owned miner, says it’s ready to ditch Glencore Xstrata’s (LON:GLEN) Kamoto Copper company.

Albert Yuma, Gecamines chairman, told Bloomberg reporters that the firm is looking at 14 potential buyers for its 20% stake in the London-listed miner’s project. Glencore’s subsidary Katanga Mining holds a 75% stake in Kamoto.

If Kamoto meets its expected production output of 300,000 metric tons by the end of next year, it will be the Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest mine.

In its latest quarterly report, Katanga announced it had produced just over 60,000 tonnes in the first half of 2013 – a 40% increase on the same period in 2012.

But that wasn’t enough to convince Gecamines – the firm wants out because the Katanga missed production targets for five years in a row and holds too much debt, Yuma told Bloomberg.

The chairman also told reporters that the sale could be cancelled if Gecamines can finance a $2.75 billion reorganization plan.

Potential bidders include Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group.

Image from Katanga Mining

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