RAK firm sinks $250m into Congo mines

 

Ras Al Khaimah Minerals and Metals Investments (RMMI) announced it is investing $250 million (Dh918m) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). RMMI also launched Ras Al Khaimah Minerals and Metals Congo (RMMC), a special purpose vehicle that will operate in Congo.


The fund is intended to develop copper and cobalt production in the country, its manager said yesterday, according to a Reuters report.

With $1bn available, it will also sink money into coal mining in Indonesia and into ceramic raw materials, Madhu Koneru, managing director of RMMI, said.


“We own a small copper-cobalt mine in the DRC,” he said, adding that the fund was also investing in a greenfield mine and smelter projects.

“We hope to produce around 20,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year,” he said. But he added there were logistical problems shipping larger quantities of metal out of the country. “Infrastructure is still a problem. Had that been better, we might have been looking at a 100,000-tonne smelter.”

He said the mining licences that RAK Minerals had were not with Gecamines, so would not fall victim to the judicial reviews that have entangled other investors that went into partnership with the state mining firm.

Koneru was bullish towards copper prices.

“We are conservative in our investments. Even though we think [copper] prices could get to $10,000-$12,000, we are basing our investments on $6,000-$7,000,” he added.

“The pitfalls for us are not from the market, they are on the technical side. There is insufficient infrastructure. This is one of the reasons why prices will stay high. There are new reserves , but you are still missing the equipment,” Koneru said.

 

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