Congo’s state owned mining company Gecamines has sold its copper concession located in south-east Katanga province to a Chinese company.
Under the $52m deal, the company will sell about 13km² of copper and cobalt concession to Congo Dongfang International Mining, which is a unit of Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt of China.
Gecamines said that it is selling the property as it is located far from its concentrator facility which extracts the minerals, adding significant transport cost to the production.
Following the deal, the Chinese company will own the mining concession, estimated to contain 354,619t of copper and 62,903t of cobalt.
The concession was previously owned by Gecamines’ previous subsidiary Compagnie Miniere du Sud Katanga (CMSK SAS), before it merged with Gecamines, Reuters reported.
In a separate statement, the company also added that it has signed a ‘strategic cooperation accord’ with China Nonferrous Metal Mining.
Under the deal, China Nonferrous Metal Mining will explore ‘five large projects’ around Lubumbashi, Likasi and Kolwezi in Congo’s Katanga province, Bloomberg reported citing a statement from the company.
The company has yet to disclose the financial details of the strategic cooperation.
Gecamines has previously faced criticism from the International Monetary Fund for lack of transparency in its mining deals.
The deal will increase the presence of Chinese companies in Congo’s copper and cobalt mining sector.
China Minmetals subsidiary MMG and Jinchuan Group of China already own copper projects in Congo.