Lead, Zinc and coblat

Temporary administrator takes over China Moly’s Tenke mine in Congo

Temporary administrator takes over China Moly’s Tenke mine in Congo
Mining News Pro - A temporary administrator took control on Thursday of China Molybdenum’s Tenke Fungurume mine in Congo, an official from the state mining company said, amid a dispute between shareholders in the world’s second-largest cobalt producer.

A court appointed the administrator, Sage Ngoie Mbayo, in February for a period of six months in response to a claim brought by the state miner Gecamines. China Moly controls an 80% stake in the mine, known as TFM. Gecamines owns 20%.

Implementation of the ruling was suspended after Congo’s government called for an investigation. But in a letter dated June 1 and seen by Reuters, Justice Minister Ruth Mutombo ordered that it be enforced.

Ngoie, who had been named Gecamines’ representative to TFM shortly before his appointment as temporary administrator, officially took charge on Thursday, Patrice Pungwe, the secretary-general of Gecamines, told Reuters.

In a video filmed at TFM’s offices, Ngoie declared that he was now in control.

“At this time, TFM is run by me. It is not run by Gecamines or by CMOC (China Moly),” he said.

A spokesman for China Moly did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The dispute started last August when Congo’s government announced it had formed a commission to reassess the reserves and resources at TFM, which is also among the world’s largest copper producers.

The government suspects the mine has understated its levels of reserves in order to reduce the amount it pays to Gecamines. China Molybdenum denies having done so.

The court order in February tasked Ngoie with “reconciling the two partners on the points of divergence, namely access to technical information.”

Congo is the world’s top producer of cobalt, which is used in electric batteries, and it is Africa’s leading miner of copper.

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