Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines) have resumed copper and cobalt operations at BOSS Mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Located in the Lualaba and Haut-Katanga provinces of the DRC, Boss Mining was temporarily put into care and maintenance in 2019.

The move allowed ERG and its joint venture (JV) partner Gécamines to evaluate various investment options and undertake studies to enhance the economics and sustainability of the Boss Mining operations.

Over the next 16 months and as part of the phased restart, the JV partners plan to focus on processing historically mined fines to produce copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide.

Gécamines CEO Ntambwe Ngoy Kabongo said: “The current restart is only the beginning of our journey, and will provide financing for further potential development, exploration and other mining-related activities at Boss Mining.”

By March next year, Boss Mining is expected to produce an average of 1,800t of copper cathode and 300t of cobalt hydroxide per month.

ERG CEO Benedikt Sobotka said: “We are not only celebrating the return to production at this time but also our long-standing partnership with Gécamines and its professional team, without whom this restart would not have been possible. ERG believes that collaboration is the key to building a better future.”

Sobotka said the current phase of the restart plan is expected to generate nearly 750 jobs.

ERG intends to develop and boost the Boss Mining operations in a sustainable manner to enable positive and ‘longer-term social, environmental and economic outcomes’.