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Glencore to axe workers at a key mine in the Dem. Rep. of Congo

Author,Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume, Financial Times, 8 February 2019

Author,Henry Sanderson and Neil Hume, Financial Times, Published 11 February 2019

"Glencore to cut workers at key DR Congo copper and cobalt mine" 8 February 2019

Glencore will axe workers at a key mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as it faces lower cobalt prices and higher costs under a new mining code. The Swiss-based miner and trader is cutting expatriate workers at its Mutanda mine, the largest cobalt operation in the world, and also not renewing contracts for external contractors, according to people familiar with the matter. No DRC workers will be asked to leave, they said. It comes as Glencore has taken a more pessimistic view on the development of Mutanda. In its 2018 resources and reserves report, published this week, the company said it had reclassified an ore body at Mutanda to “probable” rather than “proved” because of the “uncertain political and increased cost environment” in the DRC.

… Last year, Joseph Kabila, the DRC’s former president, signed into law a new mining code that increases royalties and taxes on international mining companies, especially on cobalt, which was declared a “strategic” metal because of its use in electric car batteries.

… Glencore has faced a string of problems in the DRC over the past year. This month, the ministry of mines told a subsidiary to stop work on a new plant that would allow it to resume exports of cobalt from its Kamoto project

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Related companies: Glencore