Phelps Dodge to open copper-cobalt mine in DRC

22 November 2005 | 00:45 Code : 6455 Geoscience events
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Economic reforms in the once-corrupt and war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo have paved the way for ...
Economic reforms in the once-corrupt and war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo have paved the way for Phelps Dodge Corp.'s development of one of the largest and highest-grade copper/cobalt deposits in the world.
Phoenix-based Phelps Dodge recently announced that it had gained control of the Congo's Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt project and would proceed to open a mine there.
In the Congo's Katanga Province, Tenke Fungurume is one of the world's largest known copper-cobalt resources.
The 1,437-square-kilometer property contains extensive high-grade ore: 3.5 percent copper and 0.27 percent cobalt.
It could exceed present estimates of 550 million tons.
"We look forward to working with our partners in developing Tenke Fungurume." The company could be in production as early as 2008.
Tenke Fungurume was first explored in 1918 but never brought into production because of the lack of suitable technology.
A consortium was awarded a mining concession there in 1970 and performed exploration work and feasibility studies.
The company abandoned the project in 1976 due to economic and political issues and was finally liquidated in 1984. Gecamines, the state-owned mining company, acquired Tenke Fungurume after the liquidation.
Phelps Dodge operates three copper mines in Chile and one in Peru in addition to its copper and molybdenum mines in the United States.
 

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