Mining and commodity trading company Gecamines, which is owned by the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has renegotiated terms of a joint venture (JV) with ENRC Africa to increase its stake in Boss Mining from 30% to 49%.
Following the renegotiation, ENRC Africa’s ownership of the Boss Mining JV is set to fall from 70% to 51%.
Boss Mining operates in the Lubumbashi region of DRC and produces copper cathode and cobalt concentrate. Over the first six months of this year, the JV exported more than 17,000t of copper, according to Reuters.
As per the renegotiated terms, a Boss Mining debt of around $1.5bn towards ENRC has also been cancelled, according to the news agency.
Furthermore, the new agreement will raise the signing bonus payable by ENRC to Gecamines to $165 from $35 per tonne of copper and copper equivalent.
According to Bloomberg, the deal reached by the companies includes a detailed business plan that will allow greater monitoring of the returns from the project.
The move is part of Gecamines’ efforts to increase control over joint ventures with global mining companies such as Glencore and China Molybdenum.
In June this year, Glencore reached a settlement deal to end a legal dispute with the state miner over the Kamoto copper and cobalt mine in the DRC. Kamoto Copper Co (KCC), which operates the mine, is owned by Glencore subsidiary Katanga Mining and Gecamines.
Gecamines Chairman Albert Yuma has been critical of existing JV deals as too generous to foreign mining companies, the Bloomberg report added.
ENRC is a subsidiary of Kazakhstan-focused mining firm Eurasian Natural Resources.
Last week, Gecamines entered into a production-sharing agreement with China’s Hongkong Excellen Mining Investment for the Kingamyambo and Kilamusembo copper and cobalt projects.