Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) and its joint venture partner, La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), has announced the restart of operations at Boss Mining, in the Lualaba and Haut-Katanga provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In a statement, the companies said that Boss Mining has a long history of copper and cobalt production from significant open-pit resources. It was placed into care and maintenance in early 2019 to allow ERG and Gécamines to assess different investment paths and conduct further studies to improve the economics and sustainability of operations.
Benedikt Sobotka, Chief Executive Officer at ERG, said: “We are not only celebrating the return to production at this time, but also our long-standing partnership with Gécamines and its professional team, without whom this restart would not have been possible. ERG believes that collaboration is the key to building a better future.”
He added that mining plays a vital role in the social and economic upliftment of its host communities and stated that ERG aims to develop and scale operations at Boss Mining in a sustainable way to allow for positive, longer-term social, environmental, and economic outcomes.
“We are proud that this phase of the restart will create around 750 jobs for DRC citizens, primarily recruited from the surrounding communities, ensuring that direct members of our communities are the primary beneficiaries of Boss Mining's activities,” Sobotka continued.
The statement pointed out that the phased restart will concentrate on processing historically mined fines over the next 16 months to produce copper cathodes and cobalt hydroxide. The operation will ramp up over the next few months to its full capacity, producing, on average, 1,800 tonnes of copper cathode and 300 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide a month.
The companies stated that this will be achieved by March 2023.
Revitalising the Community
“The current restart is only the beginning of our journey, and will provide financing for further potential development, exploration, and other mining-related activities at Boss Mining. I am convinced that the revival of Boss Mining's activities will allow for the creation of important number of new jobs in the future and the union of countless families from the surrounding communities and the four corners of the country,” said Chief Executive Officer of Gécamines, Ntambwe Ngoy Kabongo.
He added that Boss Mining is also currently renewing its five-year ESIA commitments and formalising its Cahier de Charges. Restarting the production will allow Boss Mining to update its commitments and social contribution, in turn supporting the action programme of the DRC President, Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, which aims to improve social conditions through housing, health, education and employment.
“The restarting of Boss Mining is a vital sign of life returning to the territory of Lubudi and the economic life of our province, Haut Katanga. ERG and Gécamines have our full support for the relaunch of this giant amongst the mines,” stated the Provincial Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Georges Mawine Kaindu in conclusion.
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