Congo, Chinese partners sign reviewed Sicomines copper-cobalt joint venture agreement

Aerial view of the Chinese joint venture Sicomines copper and cobalt mining facility in Kowlezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Credit: Sicomines

Democratic Republic of Congo and Chinese investors on Thursday signed an agreement reached in January that revises some terms of their Sicomines copper and cobalt joint venture, Congo’s Infrastructure Minister Alexis Gisaro Muvunyi said on Thursday.

President Felix Tshisekedi had sought to re-negotiate the terms of the joint venture to bring more benefits for Congo, the world’s biggest cobalt producer.

Under the revised deal, both parties have agreed that China will invest up to $7 billion in infrastructure projects in the central African country, up from $3 billion in the original agreement.

They have also agreed Chinese partners, including Sinohydro and China Railway group, will pay 1.2% of royalties annually to Congo while maintaining the same shareholding structure.

“Today, at the end of several months of negotiations, we reached this advent,” Minister Muvunyi said at the signing ceremony in the capital Kinshasa

Congo is also the world’s third-largest copper producer and holds significant deposits of lithium, tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold.

(By Benoit Nyemba and Sofia Christensen)


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