Thursday, August 28, 2008

Congo wants to more than double its stake in Freeports copper/cobalt mine reports that "Congo's government wants to more than double its stake in a joint venture with [Phoenix-based] Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc., which is developing one of the world's largest unexploited copper and cobalt deposits in the country. The state wants to increase its share of the $1.9 billion Tenke Fungurume project to 45 percent, from the current 17.5 percent, Gaby Matshafu, deputy Chief of Staff at Congo's Mines Ministry, said in an interview late yesterday in Kinshasa." [right, copper ore at Tenke Fungurume mine, Congo. Credit, Freeport McMoRan] says "The $1,9-billion Tenke Fungurume mine will initially produce an average of 250-million pounds of copper and 18-million pounds of cobalt a year, but Freeport has high hopes for significant expansions and even additional projects at Tenke Fungurume.

The current mine plan is based on ore reserves of about 100-million metric tons, with average ore grades of 2,3% copper and 0,3% cobalt, but the company believes there is the potential to triple the reserves at Tenke in the medium term, Freeport CEO Richard Adkerson said last month."

Freeport calls Tenke Fungurume " the largest undeveloped, high-grade copper/cobalt project in the world today. "

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