JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Glencore Xstrata and joint venture (JV) partner Fleurette Group have completed the merger of the Mutanda Mining and Kansuki operations, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The merger has been implemented by way of the absorption of Kansuki into Mutanda with the consideration for such absorption being the issue of new Mutanda shares.
Fleurette sold a 37.5% stake in Kansuki to Glencore in 2010, retaining a 37.5% interest in the project, with State-owned Gecamines holding the balance.
In 2011, Fleurette acquired the remaining 25% stake in Kansuki from Gecamines, while also acquiring a 20% interest in Mutanda from Gecamines for $220-million. Glencore held the remaining stake in Mutanda.
Following the merger of the operations, Glencore now holds a 54.5% indirect stake in the enlarged operations, giving it majority control over the merged entity and its operations. High Grade Minerals (HGM) holds a further 14.5% indirect interest and Rowny Assets, a subsidiary of Fleurette, a 31% direct interest in the enlarged operations.
Glencore has the right, subject to the terms of a put-and-call option agreement, to acquire the remaining 14.5% indirect equity interest held by HGM for $430-million between December 15 and 31.
It also has the right to, in July 2016, acquire 50% of the interest in the combined operations held by Rowny and, in July 2018, the remainder, at fair market value.
Mutanda is a high-grade copper and cobalt operation, which, in 2012, produced 87 000 t of copper and 9 000 lb of cobalt.
The Kansuki concession is a 185 km2 copper and cobalt predevelopment project bordering the Mutanda concession. A total of $641-million of capital expenditure has been committed for the mine and plant development, of which $570-million has been spent.
The combined mining operations at Mutanda/Kansuki have the potential to be a major asset in the DRC. The operations are expected to have a production capacity of 200 000 t/y of copper cathode and 23 000 t/y of cobalt hydroxide.
Glencore said that, working closely with Fleurette, significant synergies are expected to be available to the joint operations, including shared management, power, tailings, infrastructure and the joint mining of the shared high-grade orebody.
The diversified group has signed life of mine offtake agreements for all copper and cobalt product produced by the combined mining operations.