Lubumbashi, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 November 2010
A consortium of South Korean companies is seeking a minerals-for-infrastructure deal in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that could be worth as much as US$1 billion (R6.8 billion).
Reuters quoted the South Korean ambassador to the DRC Kim Sung-chul as saying: “The proposed deal “’ involving refurbishment of a copper mine and construction of an Atlantic deepwater port “’ would bolster South Korea’s bid to secure long-term access to metals, while speeding the DRC’s development.
“We were poorer than the DRC in the 1960’s, and now we are chairing the G20. This change was possible only thanks to support from outside, and we think it’s high time we repay that," he explained.
Kim is leading a delegation of executives from South Korean firms Samsung, Hyundai , Bosco, Daewoo, and Taejoo Synthesis Steel to mining sites in the DRC.
He revealed that a consortium of South Korean companies, including Taejoo, was seeking to form a joint-venture with the DRC’s state-owned miner Sodimco to refurbish the disused Musoshi copper mine at a cost of US$300 million (R2 billion).
He added that the deal would also involve South Korea’s Eximbank lending US150 to $200 million (R1 and R1.3 billion) to South Korean firms to fund a wastewater treatment plant in Kinshasa to serve 2 million people. The cost of this project would be recouped from future revenues from the mine.
Kim said that South Korea had also selected Hyundai, Bosco and STX to build a deep-sea port at Banana on DRC’s Atlantic coast, which would cost US$500 million (R3.4 billion) and take four years to complete once work started.
Katanga province governor Moise Katumbi confirmed that Taejoo Synthesis Steel was discussing potential partnerships with mining companies such as Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Incorporated and Metorex Limited.