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8 Jan 2021

Jevans Nyabiage, South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

DRC: Chinese companies increase stakes in cobalt and copper operations as DRC joins Belt and Road

"China cancels Democratic Republic of Congo loans as it joins belt and road" 7 January 2021

China has cancelled the Democratic Republic of Congo’s interest-free loans that matured in 2020 and promised to fund infrastructure projects as the Central African nation joined the Belt and Road Initiative. [...]

While meeting Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi in Kinshasa, Wang said most of the sum pledged, US$15 million, would be channelled towards development projects. The remaining US$2 million would be used to support DRC’s mandate as head of the African Union bloc for the next financial year. China also committed to funding refurbishment of the Congolese foreign ministry headquarters. [...]

President Tshisekedi thanked China for helping DRC to fight the coronavirus and develop its economy, and said he “hopes to restart the joint economic and trade committee of the two countries to promote the cooperation”. [...]

Last month, China Molybdenum acquired Arizona mining firm Freeport-McMoRan’s indirect 95 per cent interest in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt deposit for US$550 million. Several Chinese companies own substantial stakes of copper and cobalt reserves in DRC.