Glencore set to reopen Mutanda Mining cobalt mine in DRC

Glencore hopes to reopen its Mutanda Mining copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the end of 2021, approximately two years after halting production at the giant operation.

Representatives from the Swiss commodities giant recently met with DRC’s new mines minister Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi to discuss the restart of the mine, which was closed in November 2019.

This was after Glencore said in August 2019 that it would shutter the mine for two years to carry out care and maintenance following a crash in the cobalt price.

“[Mutanda] will start the commissioning of operations towards the end of this year in order to allow the return to production in 2022,” Glencore said in an emailed statement following the aforementioned discussions with the mines minister.

The potential reopening of Mutanda – one of the world’s biggest cobalt mines – comes as global demand continues to rise for the metals set to play a vital enabling role in the electrification of the transportation and energy sectors. Cobalt and copper are key metals in the transition away from fossil fuels.

Mutanda was responsible for a fifth of global cobalt production in 2018, according to UK-based cobalt specialist Darton Commodities Ltd.