CITIC Metal (HK) and a subsidiary of Zijin have signed offshore agreements with Kamoa Copper for the Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The companies have signed copper concentrate and blister copper off-take agreements for 100% of Kamoa-Kakula’s phase 1 copper output.

The mine, which started producing copper concentrate in May, is estimated to produce nearly 200,000 tonnes of copper per year in the first phase.

Under the agreements, CITIC Metal and Zijin’s subsidiary Gold Mountains (H.K.) International Mining Company will purchase 50% each of the copper products from the mine’s phase 1 production.

The two companies will buy the copper concentrate at the Kakula Mine and the blister copper at the Lualaba Copper Smelter.

The purchase will be done on a free-carrier basis, with Zijin and CITIC Metal taking the responsibility for the arrangement of freight and shipment to the final destination.

The companies will offer an advance payment facility of $300m in total to Kamoa Copper.

Ivanhoe Mines president and CFO Marna Cloete said: “We are very pleased to have reached agreements with our partners CITIC Metal and Zijin at internationally-competitive terms.

“The agreements reflect the great partnership we have with CITIC Metal and Zijin, and the advance payment facilities significantly reduce the mine’s working capital requirements as Phase 1 production ramps up.”

In May, Kamoa Copper signed a 10-year agreement with the Lualaba Copper Smelter for the processing of certain volumes of Kamoa’s copper concentrate production.

The Lualaba Copper Smelter, which is located outside the town of Kolwezi, is owned by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) and Yunnan Copper of Kunming.

The smelter is expected to treat up to 150,000 wet metric tonnes of copper concentrates from the Kamoa-Kakula mine.

Cloete said: “We also are pleased to secure a long-term tolling agreement with the local Lualaba Copper Smelter, in keeping with our commitment to in-country beneficiation that includes Kamoa Copper’s longer-term plan to construct its own direct-to-blister smelter.

“We have all necessary authorizations in place and will commence exports of clean, hydro-electricity-produced copper products from the Kamoa-Kakula mine to meet the burgeoning international demand for electrification of the global economy.”

The Kamoa-Kakula copper project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines with 39.6% stake, Zijin Mining Group with 39.6%, and Crystal River Global with 0.8%.

The Government of the DRC owns the remaining stake of 20% in the mine.