Katanga Temporarily Suspends Cobalt Sales

A technician takes a sample from a flotation cell at Kamoto Copper. (Photo: Katanga Mining)
Katanga Mining announced that its 75%- owned operating subsidiary, Kamoto Copper Co. SA, will temporarily suspend the sale of cobalt from its Kamoto Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) until further notice. The presence of uranium was recently detected in the cobalt hydroxide product in levels that exceed the acceptable limits. To date, the total cobalt production impacted by the sale suspension amounts to 1,472 metric tons (mt) of finished cobalt. The company reported sales of 2,176 mt for the first half of 2018.

Production of cobalt at the Kamoto Project is expected to continue. The company is currently conducting additional surveys to identify the source of the uranium and exploring various options to mitigate the impact of the sales suspension.

Katanga said it intends to construct a $25 million Ion Exchange system to remove the uranium from the cobalt produced at the project. It’s expected to be commissioned by the end of the second quarter 2019 subject to obtaining the necessary approvals. Once commissioned, the processing of the cobalt stored on site is expected to be completed before the end of 2019.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 11 - www.womp-int.com