The battery manufacturer will acquire the stake in the undeveloped cobalt and copper resource from China Molybdenum


CATL will take a 25% stake in KFM, which has a 95% stake in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine. (Credit: Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited)

Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) has agreed to acquire a stake in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from China Molybdenum (CMOC) for $137.5m.

As per the deal, the Chinese battery manufacturer’s subsidiary Ningbo Brunp CATL New Energy will acquire 25% stake in China Molybdenum’s subsidiary KFM Holding. The China Molybdenum subsidiary has a 95% stake in the Kisanfu mine.

The remaining 5% stake in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine is held by the DRC government.

China Molybdenum will retain a stake of 75% in KFM, upon the completion of the transaction.

The company stated: “Through this partnership, CMOC becomes a long-term cobalt supplier to the world’s largest power battery manufacturer and forges compelling long-term synergies with a world-class customer of battery raw materials.

“In turn, CATL has secured a long-term reliable, clean, and responsible source of cobalt raw material.”

The Chinese molybdenum producer had acquired the 95% stake in the copper-cobalt mine in DRC from Freeport-McMoRan for $550m.

Kisanfu is said to be a large, undeveloped cobalt and copper resource, which was discovered by the exploration team of Freeport-McMoRan.

Located in the Lualaba Province, the Kisanfu property has a resource inventory of 365Mt grading 1.72% Cu and 0.85% Co. It contains nearly 6.3Mt copper and 3.1Mt cobalt.

Under the terms of the agreement,  the capital expenditure required for the project will be funded by China Molybdenum and CATL in proportion to their ownership in KFM.

CATL chairman Zeng Yuqun said: “The lithium-ion battery industry has embraced the TWh era. Stable raw materials supply with full compliance is a critical step towards high-quality delivery.

“CATL has long been committed to responsible cobalt supply chain. CMOC advocates international ESG standards and is a leader supplying raw materials for battery metals and electric vehicles.

“This partnership will allow both parties to leverage our respective advantages in new energy metals resources such as lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper, and contribute to the development of the new energy vehicle industry as well as the realization of carbon emissions peak and carbon neutrality.”