Chinese company, Zijin gets greenlight for its operations in DRC following lifting of its suspension

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The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has revoked a suspension order on a copper and cobalt operation primarily owned by China’s Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd further giving the China-owned firm the greenlight to continue with its operations.

Last month, Congo’s mines ministry suspended operations at the COMMUS project, where Zijin holds a 72% stake, to probe mineral products sent back from South Africa due to excessive radiation levels.

On Monday, the mines ministry verified in a letter to the director general of COMMUS dated May 10 that it had received a report on the investigation’s conclusions and consequently lifted the suspension.

According to a letter issued to the company, mining operations could recommence under the condition that the company diligently monitored radiation levels to comply with national and international standards in accordance with the statement.

COMMUS, in an email response, acknowledged receiving the ministry’s letter and confirmed that both production and exports had been fully restored.

However, the company noted that it had not been provided with the report referenced in the letter.

The Democratic Republic of Congo stands as the globe’s third-largest copper producer and holds the title for the primary cobalt producer, an essential element in batteries for electric vehicles and mobile devices.

According to ministry data, COMMUS, situated close to the southern city of Kolwezi in Congo, recorded an output of 129,000 tonnes of copper and approximately 2,200 tons of cobalt in 2023.

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