STL, a subsidiary of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company Gecamines, announced on Tuesday 11th April that it has secured $75 million to build a new hydro-metallurgical unit.
The unit will produce materials used in manufacturing semiconductors and extend the life of its existing facilities by 30 years. The company, which focuses on making commercial use of a slag heap in Lubumbashi, the capital city of the mining region of Katanga in southeastern Congo, plans to begin operations from August this year.
The new unit will produce copper cathodes, cobalt hydroxide, a germanium precipitate, silver concentrate and zinc oxides, with the processing of alloys taking place for the first time on the African continent, according to an STL statement.
The company aims to extract added value and become a major global player in the production of germanium, an essential metal for semiconductors.
Rawbank SA, based in Congo, provided a loan, and multinational commodity trader Trafigura renewed a $20 million prepayment agreement in exchange for an extension of an exclusive commercial contract for the purchase of zinc oxides. The venture aims to add value locally to the minerals that the DRC exports globally and ensure perfect traceability.
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