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Katanga Mining unit resumes cobalt export from DRC

Katanga Mining Limited announced that its 75%-owned DRC subsidiary Kamoto Copper Company (“KCC”) has resumed the export and sale of a limited quantity of cobalt that complies with both international and local Democratic Republic of Congo (“DRC”) transport regulations with respect to the levels of uranium.  

In November last year, the Company announced that KCC had temporarily suspended the export and sale of cobalt due to the presence of uranium detected in the cobalt hydroxide at levels that exceed the acceptable limit allowed for export of the product through main African ports to customers.

The low levels of radioactivity detected in the uranium to date do not present a health and safety risk. While KCC, together with the Company and KCC’s 25% shareholder, DRC state-owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (“Gécamines”), have been working with the DRC government’s Ministry of Mines and the Congolese Atomic Energy Agency (CGEA) on a long-term technical solution in the form of an ion exchange plant (the “Ion Exchange Plant”), KCC has also been exploring various alternative interim solutions, both operational and regulatory, to recommence the export and sale of cobalt.

Katanga said it produced about 930 t of contained cobalt since January through interim operational solutions .The company also said it would focus on processing an ion exchange plant, which would help remove the excess levels of uranium.

KCC will resume the export of its cobalt hydroxide complying with the Applicable Regulations with immediate effect. Such resumption of exports remains subject to the regular DRC export procedures, which include the continued monitoring by CGEA and by the relevant mining authorities.

 KCC will continue to focus on implementing the interim operational solutions while it processes the Ion Exchange Plant.

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