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Glencore to reopen one of world’s biggest cobalt mines in Congo

By the end of 2021, about two years after idling the mine.
Image: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Glencore Plc could reopen its Mutanda Mining copper and cobalt project in Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of 2021, about two years after idling the mine.

Congo’s new mines minister, Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi met with representatives from the Swiss company Monday to discuss the restart of the mine, which closed in November 2019, the ministry said in a statement sent to reporters. Mutanda “will start the commissioning of operations towards the end of this year in order to allow the return to production in 2022,” Glencore said in a separate emailed statement.

A reopening of Mutanda, one of the world’s biggest cobalt mines, comes when there’s renewed demand for battery metals as automakers focus on metal-intensive electric vehicles and global economies shift away from fossil fuels in favour of cleaner technologies that use electricity for energy. Cobalt and copper are key metals in that transition.

Glencore said in August 2019 that it would close the mine for two years to carry out care and maintenance after prices of cobalt slumped. Mutanda was responsible for a fifth of global cobalt production in 2018, according to Darton Commodities Ltd., a UK-based firm that specialises in the metal.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Some of our other mining companies could learn from Glencore.

Rule #1 Do not sell your product to break even, produce only if the price of the product is advantageous.

Rule #2 It is ok to produce and stockpile but do not sell for a low price.

Can work only if you have cashflow available… C&M can be very expensive – DRC labor laws are very strict and it’s very costly to retrench staff (3 months salary for each year of service) so you either have to still pay the salaries or retrench staff but you need a lot of cash…

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