By Oscar Nkala
Shalina Resources Ltd and Chemaf, its copper and cobalt mining subsidiary in the Democratic Republic of Congo have signed a marketing agreement for cobalt hydroxide with leading commodity trading firm, the Trafigura Group.
In a statement issued on April 4, Chemaf company chairman Shiraz Virji said the off take agreement with the Trafigura Group covers cobalt from existing mine assets, and will run between now and December 2020.
The agreement is part of the Trafigura Group strategy to secure mid-term supplies of cobalt, an essential component in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
Virji said Chemaf is one the largest cobalt producers in the DRC, with cobalt output expected to rise to at least 7000 tonnes in 2018 up from 5 000 tonnes in 2017.
“We are one of the largest and most ambitious cobalt producers in the DRC. Trafigura is helping us fuel our ambitions. This offtake agreement will enable us to work together to transform the DRC’s precious cobalt resources into jobs and fiscal revenues for the country, as well as to meet rapidly increasing international demand (for cobalt),” he said.
Sebastien Ansel, Shalina Resources Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Sebastian Ansel said Chemaf is set to play an increasingly critical role in meeting market demand for high-grade cobaly hydroxide to power electric vehicles.
“The agreement announced today will enable Chemaf to accelerate production whilst also investing in our highly attractive exploration portfolio,” Ansel said. The Chemaf property portfolio in the DRC includes the Mutoshi concession, which holds an estimated 300 000 tonnes of cobalt ore in the Kolwezi Region.
Ongoing projects include the development of a leach processing plant with a capacity of 20 000 tonnes of copper and 16 000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide per annum respectively. The plant is due for completion in 2019.