DR Congo Halts Mining Expansion Plans in Copper-Rich Katanga Due to Energy Crisis

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There won’t be any mining expansions in Katanga any time soon. Apparently, “Democratic Republic of Congo’s prime minister has told mining companies to halt any expansion plans requiring extra power in the copper-rich Katanga province due to an ‘energy crisis’, a document seen by Reuters showed on Thursday,” report Reuters.

“In a letter addressed to President Joseph Kabila and various government ministers, Augustin Matata Ponyo said that national power company SNEL should not grant any new energy contracts for mining companies nor allow changes to existing contracts.”

“‘I equally consider it necessary that mining clients postpone immediately and until further notice any expansion project requiring additional energy,’ Ponyo wrote in a letter dated January 10.”

“International mining companies such as Glencore and Freeport McMoRan have major operations in Congo’s southeastern Katanga province, drawn to the region by huge copper deposits.”

“Katanga Mining, a Glencore-owned firm, aims to expand its copper output to 300,000 tonnes in 2014 as part of a plan to become Africa’s largest producer of the metal. The company produced 136,192 tonnes in 2013, it said in a March press release.”

In metal price news for copper…

On Thursday, March 6, the day’s biggest mover was the Japanese copper cash price, which saw a 1.5 percent increase. This increase comes after the price fell for the two previous days. The price of US copper producer grade 110 declined 0.3 percent. The price of US copper producer grade 122 saw a 0.3 percent decline. The price of US copper producer grade 102 fell 0.2 percent.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Chinese copper closed mixed yesterday. Chinese copper bar finished the day down 0.3 percent. The cash price of Chinese copper weakened by 0.3 percent. The price of Chinese copper wire remained essentially flat. The price of Chinese bright copper scrap held steady.

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After a 1.0 percent increase, the cash price of primary copper finished the day on the LME at $7,102 per metric ton. Also on the LME, the copper 3-month price inched up 0.8 percent to $7,050 per metric ton.

 

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