The expansion project will extend the life of the Kinsevere mine for 13 years from 2022, and is estimated to cost around of $500m to $600m

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MMG to expand Kinsevere copper mine. (Credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay)

Australia-based base metals miner Minerals and Metals Group (MMG) is set to expand its Kinsevere operation in the Katanga province of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The expansion project will extend the life of the Kinsevere mine for 13 years from 2022, and is estimated to cost around of $500m to $600m.

The project includes mining and processing of the copper sulphide and cobalt resource at the Kinsevere mine.

MMG said that the expansion will enhance the mine’s copper cathode production to reach up to 80,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and cobalt in cobalt hydroxide up to 4,000tpa-6,000tpa.

MMG CEO Liangang Li said: “The project demonstrates the Company’s commitment to investing in Africa and to securing a strong future for the Kinsevere asset.

“We are committed to growing our presence in Africa and following today’s comittment, we are excited to start our next phase of growth in this highly prospective region.

“The project adds a significant amount of cobalt production to our portfolio, at a time when demand from electric vehicles and energy storage systems will accelerate and we transition towards a low carbon future.”

The construction is planned to begin in this year, with first cobalt production expected in 2023, and the first copper cathode from the sulphide orebody in 2024.

Kinsevere mine will continue to produce copper cathode from the remaining oxide orebody during the construction phase, said MMG.

MMG has acquired the open pit copper mine in 2012. It has been in operation since 2007, with a leasehold agreement is in place with commodity trading and mining firm Gécamines.

The company is expected to fund the Kinsevere expansion project expenditure through a combination of reserve cash in hand, and debt facilities.

Li added: “Securing the future of Kinsevere will importantly allow us to continue our contribution to nearby communities as well as providing employment and development opportunities for our many valued MMG team members in the DRC.

“As a first mover in copper production from sulphide ores in the DRC, we are excited about the opportunities.”