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2 minutes read

AFC Boosts DRC’s Copper Production with $150M Loan for Kamoa-Kakula Expansion

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has granted a $150 million loan to Kamoa Copper to support the expansion of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This investment is anticipated to solidify the DRC’s position as the fourth-largest recipient of foreign direct investment in Africa and enhance the country’s copper production capacity.

Kamoa-Kakula, a world-class underground copper deposit, is currently undergoing its third phase of expansion. This phase will boost copper production capacity by 33%, bringing it to over 600,000 tonnes per annum, and will include the construction of Africa’s largest copper smelter. The expansion also involves restarting 178 megawatts of renewable hydroelectric generation capacity at the Inga II dam. Upon completion by the end of 2024, Kamoa-Kakula is expected to become Africa’s largest copper producer and the third largest globally.

The Kamoa-Kakula joint venture, operated by Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining, and the DRC government, has consistently demonstrated strong operational performance, completing expansions on budget and ahead of schedule. The operation prioritizes sustainable practices, with 91% of its full-time employees being Congolese and over $600 million paid in taxes and royalties to the DRC since operations began. In 2023, Kamoa-Kakula contributed 4% to the country’s GDP and is considered one of the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per tonne of copper produced.

AFC President and CEO Samaila Zubairu emphasized the significance of this investment, stating, “This is a key milestone in our mission to develop infrastructure ecosystems that help integrate economies and drive economic transformation in Africa. Copper is one of the critical minerals for the global energy transition, and this mine expansion will not only solidify Africa’s position in the global copper market but contribute to the continent’s path to net zero while creating employment opportunities and generating significant revenue for the DRC.”

AFC’s involvement in the Kamoa-Kakula project extends beyond financing. In late 2023, the complex became the first industrial user of the Lobito Atlantic Railway Corridor, which connects the DRC Copperbelt to the Atlantic port of Lobito in Angola. AFC served as financial advisor to the consortium granted a 30-year concession for railway services and logistics. The use of this corridor is expected to reduce logistics costs and carbon emissions associated with exporting mineral products from the DRC.

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