Ivanhoe Mines has agreed to sell 15% of its stake in Kamoa Copper project to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Government after the country raised concerns about its proposed sale of the share to China’s Zijin Mining Group.

On 26 May, Ivanhoe Mines signed an agreement with Zijin Mining to sell 49% stake in Kamoa Holding for $412m.

Kamoa Holding, a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, owns 95% stake in the Kamoa Copper mine, while the remaining 5% is owned by the Congo Government.

“The last transaction should be suspended until the completion of the talks that the government has undertaken.”

Following the deal last month, the Congolese Government expressed concerns that the stake sale by Ivanhoe to Zijin would damage its shares, Reuters reported.

Congolese Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu and portfolio minister Louise Munga Mesozi were cited by the news agency as saying: “The last transaction should be suspended until the completion of the talks that the government has undertaken.”

Ivanhoe Mines said that Zijin as well as Ivanhoe stakes would be diluted pro rata basis by the sale as their interests would be held through Kamoa Holding.

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The entity’s interest in Kamoa Copper would be cut, which would increase the Congo Government’s interest in the project.

The company said in a statement: “Ivanhoe remains committed to finalising negotiations for the proposed sale of up to a further 15% interest in Kamoa Copper SA to the Congolese State.

“During a recent series of meetings, a senior Ivanhoe Mines team, led by Mr Johansson, made a number of proposals to senior representatives of the DRC government regarding the proposed sale.”

Ivanhoe also added that it has sought legal advice to confirm that no consent is required under Congolese law over the deal with Zijin.