Congolese state-owned mining firm Gécamines’ unit STL has raised $75m for its industrial development.

The investment will be used to construct a new hydro-metallurgical unit to produce semiconductor materials.

STL said the investment will also enhance the life of its existing facilities by 30 years and help the company become a significant global producer of germanium, a metal used to make semiconductors.

From August 2023, the new plant will produce copper cathodes, cobalt hydroxide, a germanium precipitate, silver concentrate and zinc oxides.

STL used its own funds to offer a portion of the financing.

The remaining amount was financed by TRAFIGURA, which extended the $20m prepayment arrangement, and RAWBANK, which sanctioned a loan.

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In connection with the financing, TRAFIGURA also signed an exclusive commercial agreement to purchase the zinc oxides produced by the STL plant.

Gécamines CEO Placide Nkala Basidilua said: “Gécamines is pleased to witness the rebirth of its metallurgical activities in Lubumbashi through its subsidiary STL. This operation is excellent news for the economy and employment of Haut- LET’S BE AN EXAMPLE Katanga. STL, through its dynamism, embodies the renewal of Gécamines’ activities and shows us the way forward.”

STL’s board of directors chairman Guy-Robert Lukama Nkunzi said: “We are pleased to have been able to finalise this round, which will sustain STL’s activity for decades to come and project us into the future.

“Our wish is obviously to integrate even more deeply the value chain of mining production towards products with high added value.”