China Moly’s Congo mine expansion project starts trial production

Aerial view of the processing plant at China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume mine in 2015. (Image courtesy of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold)

The expansion project of China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) mine in Democratic Republic of Congo had started trial production on July 16, the company said in a statement.

The expansion project of the TFM mine is expected to produce 88,500 tonnes of copper cathode and 7,280 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide, according to the statement seen by Reuters on Monday.

It also has a designed capacity to process 3.3 million tonnes of ore per year, said the Chinese miner.

The giant Tenke Fungurume mine, one of the world’s largest copper-cobalt deposits, had seen its copper and cobalt output at 182,597 tonnes and 15,436 tonnes, respectively, in 2020.

China Moly aims to boost its copper production at the mine to 187,300 – 228,900 tonnes and cobalt output at 16,500 – 20,100 tonnes this year, it said.

“The expansion can increase daily ore processing capacity by 10,000 tonnes… to 25,000 tonnes, copper and cobalt annual production will be lifted significantly,” said the statement.

With the project being put into trial production, the company said it could also “take the advantage of rising metals prices” and further enhance its profitability.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had jumped more than 20% so far in 2021 and cobalt prices had surged over 60%.

(By Min Zhang and Shivani Singh; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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