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Trafigura transaction for new cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode supplies

Trafigura transaction for new cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode supplies

(Posted on 20/01/22)

Shalina Resources (“Shalina”) and Chemaf SA (“Chemaf”), a leading vertically integrated copper and cobalt producer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have concluded a financing and marketing transaction with Trafigura Pte. Ltd. (“Trafigura”), one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading companies. The transaction will facilitate new supply of high-grade cobalt hydroxide and copper cathode at a time of growing global demand.

The USD600 million financing will enable the completion of the fully mechanised Mutoshi mine and SX-EW processing plant in Kolwezi and the expansion of the Etoile SX-EW processing plant in Lubumbashi to progress without delay. Trafigura intends to syndicate the majority of the USD600 million financing to international banks. The agreements also provide for the marketing by Trafigura of all the cobalt hydroxide produced from these assets operated by Chemaf, Shalina’s DRC subsidiary, which is expected to continue until the end of 2027.

The Mutoshi mine, set to be one of the largest cobalt and copper mines in the DRC with significant resource development upside, is now expected to be producing by the third quarter of 2023. The new production will make Chemaf one of the largest cobalt producers globally at a time when demand for batteries for electric vehicles and copper for increased electrification as part of the energy transition is growing exponentially from customers across the world.

The development of these operations in the DRC will provide substantial economic value for the country and create significant local employment during the construction phase of the Mutoshi mine as well as during the operation phase of up to 1,000 jobs. In addition, the current local employment of around 1,000 Congolese at the Etoile mine will be secured for an additional 10-12 years.

An important component of the transaction involves Trafigura working with Shalina and Chemaf, using their combined experience to enhance the management of social and environmental impacts in line with international standards including the OECD’s ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains’ and Trafigura’s own responsible sourcing programme.

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