CITIC Metal and China’s Zijin Mining have signed offtake agreements with the Kamoa Copper joint venture (JV) for the Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Under the agreements, CITIC Metal and Zijin’s subsidiary Gold Mountains (HK) International Mining Company will each purchase 50% of the copper production from phase one of the Kamoa-Kakula mine.

The two firms will buy the copper concentrate at the Kakula Mine and the blister copper at the Lualaba Copper Smelter, on a free-carrier basis.

In addition to making a $300m advance payment in total to Kamoa Copper, the two companies will be responsible for the arrangement of freight and shipment to the final destination.

Operated by Kamoa Copper, the Kamoa-Kakula copper project entered the production phase last month. It is estimated to have an annual production exceeding 800,000t.

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The JV comprises Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River (0.8%) and the Government of the DRC (20%).

Ivanhoe Mines president and CFO Marna Cloete said: “The agreements reflect the great partnership we have with CITIC Metal and Zijin, and the advance payment facilities significantly reduce the mine’s working capital requirements as phase one production ramps up.”

Last month, an agreement was signed by Kamoa Copper for the processing of certain volumes of Kamoa’s copper concentrate production at the Lualaba Copper Smelter.

Located outside Kolwezi, the Lualaba Copper Smelter is owned by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) and Yunnan Copper of Kunming.

The smelter is expected to treat up to 150,000 wet metric tonnes of copper concentrates from the Kamoa-Kakula mine.

Cloete said: “We also are pleased to secure a long-term tolling agreement with the local Lualaba Copper Smelter, in keeping with our commitment to in-country beneficiation that includes Kamoa Copper’s longer-term plan to construct its own direct-to-blister smelter.

“We have all necessary authorisations in place and will commence exports of clean, hydro-electricity-produced copper products from the Kamoa-Kakula mine to meet the burgeoning international demand for electrification of the global economy.”