Part of the Kolwezi
copper project in
the DRC
 
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 05 August 2010 – A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) court has appointed a liquidator for First Quantum Minerals Limited’s US$750 million (R5.6 billion) Kolwezi project, escalating a yearlong dispute between the Canadian mining company and the Congolese government.

An Appeal Court here notified First Quantum this week that the copper and cobalt project “is in the process of being liquidated and a Congolese liquidator has been appointed,” the Vancouver- based company said in a statement. First Quantum is “considering all means of recourse,” it added.  

“The liquidator will provide a valuation report,” First Quantum spokeswoman Sharon Loung said by phone from Toronto. “The court will still need to approve the redistribution of assets.”

The Kolwezi project “’ which is part-owned by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa “’ was closed in September by the Congolese government after the joint venture allegedly had failed to fulfill its contractual requirements.

“Affirmative!” said Congolese mines minister Martin Kabwelulu in a mobile-phone text message, when asked whether the Kolwezi project would be liquidated. He didn’t comment further.

The dispute is the subject of arbitration before the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, and First Quantum said it was in the process of filing for immediate relief from the Congolese court decision at the ICC tribunal.