Glencore is reportedly planning to restart operations at the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2022.

The company is also in the process of hiring workers for restarting operation, Reuters reported citing a source familiar with the matter.

The production from the Mutanda mine is expected to help ease shortages in the country’s copper and cobalt industries.

Located in the Katanga province, the large-scale copper and cobalt mine also produces copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide.

Earlier this year, Glencore said that it was working to resume production at Mutanda mine, which has been on care and maintenance since November 2019.

In 2019, Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg decided to suspend operations at the mine as a result of increased costs, decreased cobalt prices and higher taxes.

However, the plan to restart the mine comes as the firm considers the costs and taxes less of an issue due to a subsequent significant rise in cobalt prices.

Critical to the construction of batteries, cobalt has become central to some of the industries set to determine the future.

While copper is a key material for the power and construction industries, cobalt hydroxide is a vital material for the electric vehicle sector.

Featuring five copper production lines and three cobalt hydroxide lines, the Mutanda mine reported production of 103,200t of copper and 25,100t of cobalt hydroxide in 2019, Reuters stated.