TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – Project developer Ivanhoe Mines on Tuesday reported that “positive discussions” with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continued after the company recently sent a high-level delegation to the country to address any “misunderstandings” that might exist between itself and the government following the company’s announcement to sell nearly half of the Kamoa copper project to a Chinese miner.
Shortly after the $412-million deal to sell a 49.5% stake in the Kamoa copper project to Zijin Group was announced, the DRC government, which owned a 5% minority stake in the project, billed as the world’s largest undeveloped copper deposit, reportedly said it was sidestepped in discussions between shareholders.
Ivanhoe on Tuesday also revealed “no material changes” in the negotiation process between itself and the DRC government about the State buying a further 15% stake in the project. However, the company remained optimistic about striking a deal as soon as practicable.
Senior Ivanhoe executives and senior members of the DRC government last week held negotiations in Kinshasa on advancing Ivanhoe's standing offer to sell up to a further 15% interest in the Kamoa project to the State on commercial terms.
Ivanhoe originally reported in September 2012 that the company had transferred to the DRC a 5% nondilutable free-carried interest in the company's Kamoa subsidiary, as required under the DRC mining code, in conjunction with the government granting exploitation permits (mining licences). At the same time, the company reported that it had offered to sell a further interest of up to 15% in the project to the DRC on commercial terms.