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China raises investment in DRC

China Railway Group
– Asia’s biggest
construction company
Beijing, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 September 2008 – China Railway Group Limited – Asia’s biggest construction company – is to raise its investment in a copper and cobalt mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by 18%, following the withdrawal of a partner.
Revealing this in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the company said it would raise its financial commitment from US$2.64 billion (R19.8 billion) to US$3.1 billion (R23.25 billion), increasing its stake from 28 to 33%.

China Metallurgical Group Corporation – which had previously planned to hold a 20% stake in the venture – has dropped out.

Bloomberg News reports that China Railway is seeking more overseas investments and orders amid concerns of slowing domestic demand. The price of copper has surged three times in the past five years on China’s demand, spurring the construction of new mines, the agency added.

Sinohydro Corporation will raise its stake from 20% to 30%, and Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company will join the venture, taking a 5% stake, the statement added.

The remainder of the project is owned by Congolese state-owned companies Congo Mining, which holds 20%, and Congo Simco, which holds 12%, according to the statement, which did not elaborate on why state-owned China Metallurgical had dropped out of the venture it only joined in July.