China-based Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Co confirmed in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange on Tuesday that it is going to invest $147.2 million to build a copper project in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The latest announcement comes as the company plans to extend the exploration of its mining assets in the country, reported Reuters.
Located in the Lukuni region in the south of DRC, the copper project will reportedly have an annual electro-deposited copper production capacity of 30,000 tonnes. Electro-deposited copper is a raw material which is mainly used in the electrical equipment and machine manufacturing sectors.
As per the filing, the new copper project is expected to launch by September 2019. However, the project is yet to get approvals from Chinese authorities. The investment will be made through its subsidiary Congo DongFang International Mining (CDM), which mainly sources copper and cobalt from DRC.
Huayou Cobalt, which is headquartered in the Tongxiang Economic Development Zone of Zhejiang, China, has built two cobalt refineries in the Luiswishi region of DRC after buying copper-cobalt mineral rights from La Generale des Carrieres et des Mines back in 2015. It is the primary supplier of mineral cobalt which is used in virtually all batteries in common devices, including cell phones, laptops, and even electric vehicles.
Huayou supplies cobalt to several big tech companies, including Apple which sources approximately 20% of the lithium used in Apple’s batteries from Huayou Cobalt.