Chinese mining company China Molybdenum (CMOC) is set to invest $1.826bn for the development of phase one of the Kisanfu copper and cobalt project in Congo.

The project is expected to meet the surging demand for the commodities from the new energy sector.

CMOC purchased a 95% stake in the KFM project in December 2020, through its unit KFM Holding.

In April 2021, battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) subsidiary Ningbo Brunp CATL New Energy purchased 25% in CMOC’s KFM Holding for $137.5m.

With the deal, CMOC and CATL own 71.25% and 23.75% stakes, respectively, in the Kisanfu mine while the DRC Government holds the remaining 5% stake.

CMOC plans to allocate $1.4bn to engineering, $238m to reserve costs and $161m to other construction work at the project, according to Yicai Global.

The project will mainly produce crude cobalt hydroxide, cathode copper, and a small amount of copper and cobalt sulfide concentrate.

Planned to be commissioned in the first half of 2023, the project is anticipated to have an average production capacity of 90,000tpa of copper and 30,000tpa of cobalt during the first phase, according to Zawya.

Located 33km south-west of CMOC’s Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mine, the Kisanfu mine is projected to hold 365Mt grading 1.72% Cu and 0.85% Co and containing approximately 6.3Mt copper and 3.1Mt cobalt.

In 2020, CMOC said that the Kisanfu mine is one of the largest, highest-grade undeveloped cobalt and copper project in the world.

At that time, the firm said in a statement: “Mineralisation continues at depth beyond current drilling, highlighting the potential to expand the resource and develop it into another long-life world class asset for CMOC’s portfolio.”