Zijin Mining to launch lithium project in DR Congo as it moves into new energy
Published: Jan 24, 2022 04:03 PM
Zijin Mining Photo: VCG

Zijin Mining Photo: VCG

China's Zijin Mining Co announced the launch of exploration at its lithium mine in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo), the company's first lithium project aimed at improving its competitiveness in the new-energy sector, the company told the Global Times on Monday. 

Zijin Mining formed a joint venture with DR Congo's national mineral development company COMINIERE, holding a 70 percent stake in the venture. 

In August 2021, the joint venture company acquired the mining rights of two sites of the local Manono lithium mine, one of the largest lithium mines in the world, containing 8.78 million tons of lithium dioxide reserves, said Zijin Mining 

The Manono Lithium mine is controlled by Australian AVZ Mineral with a 75 percent of stake, the official website of AVZ Mineral showed.

It's not the first time that Zijin Mining has mentioned its development direction toward the new-energy industry. In July 2021, Zijin Mining announced plans to establish a research and development academy for new energy and new materials. 

Three months later, the mining giant said it would acquire Canada's Neo Lithium Corp in an all-cash deal worth approximately 4.94 billion yuan ($768 million), and also initiated the takeover of the 3Q in Argentina - one of the best quality lithium brine projects in the world-- with 7.565 million tons of lithium carbonate resources. 

Aside from the yet-to-begin lithium project, Zijin Mining has already launched two copper projects, the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine and Kolwezi Copper Mine, in DR Congo. Zijin Mining said the exceptional performance in these two projects helped the company win the mining rights to local lithium resources. 

Zijin Mining representatives in DR Congo said the two mining sites were located at a major ore belt belonging to part of the Manono lithium mine, and initial exploration work will start soon. 

Global Times