Congo’s Government Halts Exports of Copper, Cobalt Concentrates

The Democratic Republic of Congo banned exports of copper and cobalt concentrates to force mining companies to add value to minerals before shipping them, Mines Minster Martin Kabwelulu said.

The government gave companies 90 days to clear their inventories of concentrated minerals, he said in a mobile-phone message today.

“We want companies to export mineral products with great added value,” Kabwelulu said. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX) must prove the cobalt hydroxide produced by its Tenke Fungurume Mining project is a “finished product” to avoid the ban, he said.

Congo was the world’s eighth largest producer of copper and the biggest producer of cobalt last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael J. Kavanagh in Kinshasa at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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