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Buenassa secures funding for DRC copper and cobalt refinery project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Buenassa, a company in the metal processing and trading sector, has announced the award of a subvention of US$3.5 million as initial tranche for the funding of its Project Preparation Facility from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Government through the Fonds de Promotion de l’Industrie (FPI).

This funding sets the stage for an innovative copper and cobalt refinery project (Hydrometallurgical plant), representing a significant stride toward cultivating a sustainable and value-driven industry, while bolstering the nation’s commitment to Climate-Smart Mining.

This initial tranche of funding will support the establishment of the project preparation facility, laying the groundwork for the venture. The project will be located in the province of Lualaba and is anticipated to become operational by 2027, within 36 months of initiation. The first tranche is specifically earmarked to bolster the crucial first phase of the refinery complex’s development, emphasising Buenassa’s dedication to driving forward this transformative and environmentally conscious initiative.

Eddy Kioni, Founder and CEO of Buenassa stated: “This project will play a pivotal role in the development of an integrated value chain around battery and electric vehicle manufacturing, aligning with the Government’s pledge to promote responsible industrialisation and regional green economic development with a lasting positive impact on local communities.”

The key figures for the first phase of the project are as follows: Yearly copper cathode output – 30 000 t, Yearly Cobalt sulphate output – 5000 t, Plant commissioning year – 2027.

Buenassa has garnered extensive support, with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) facilitating partnerships with leading financial institutions, including Afrexim Bank, AFDB, AFC, and BADEA. Additionally, the company looks forward to collaborating with local, regional, and international funding entities to further propel this critical initiative, particularly in support of the battery and electric cars initiative for which DRC, Zambia, and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding last December 2022.

With a steadfast commitment to fostering low-carbon mobility and responsible energy consumption, Buenassa is poised to deploy a leading copper and cobalt refining complex, significantly enhancing the DRC’s capabilities as a global supplier of some of the most critical minerals and metals for various industries in the World.

In pursuit of this vision, Buenassa has solidified crucial partnerships, securing financial backing structuring capacity with the US-based Financial Advisory firm Delphos International and enlisting the technical expertise of internationally reputed mining engineering advisory firms, including the South African-based MET63, the British-based Bara Consulting, and the Germany-based DMT Group.

The company’s upcoming studies, scheduled to start by the end of March 2024, represent a major step forward in realising Buenassa’s mission to contribute to the reshaping of the global supply chains and bolster the DRC’s positioning in the global market.

Marie-Paule Donsimoni-Bupp, Chair of Buenassa’s Advisory Board, emphasised, “Buenassa is dedicated to ensuring an ethical, just, and equitable Energy Transition and supporting the DRC's role in shaping future global dynamics.”

Focused on responsible production and equitable access to critical minerals, Buenassa is committed to integrating blockchain-based traceability solutions and to deploy critical minerals warehouse infrastructure, aiming at supporting the DRC Government in better control of metal movements and international market prices which have a significant impact on its national economy.

Julien Paluku, the DRC’s Minister of Industry, said: “The DRC government support to Buenassa refinery project reflects the Congolese government’s aim to fast-track the mineral resource-based industrialisation plan by encouraging synergies between the public and private sectors. In this regard, backing this initiative is a strategic choice to ensure the coherent development of the battery value chain by supporting the creation of the intermediate value-add stage between mining and the production of battery precursors.”

The Minister of Industry added: “The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi, is promoting critical minerals local beneficiation as a key pillar of his presidential programme for the prosperity of the Congolese people as well as his national security strategy, which is reflected in his special attention to the Buenassa initiative.”

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African mining news Copper mining news Cobalt news