America Mineral Fields (AMZ-T) has started the ball rolling on a feasibility study of the Kolwezi copper-cobalt tailings project in Katanga province, Democratic Republic of Congo, after inking a recently approved deal to transfer ownership of the project.
The contract of association with the government and state-owned Gcamines transfers ownership of the project to operating company, Kingamyambo Musonoi Tailings, in which AMF has an 82.5% interest. Gcamines has a 12.5% stake and the government retains 5%.
The company expects the transfer of the tailings exploitation permit to be transferred to KMT in the coming days. That transfer requires AMF to pay Gcamines US$5 million. A second payment of US$10 million is due once the project finance closes.
AMF also plans to soon commission the environmental and social impact assessment of the project.
Reserves at Kolwezi amount to 113 million tonnes of oxide tailings grading 1.49% copper and 0.32% cobalt. Of that amount, 42.3 million tonnes exist in a 1.5-km-wide tailings dam; the balance is in an 11-km-long body of tailings discharged into the Musonoi River Valley.
The project is expected to produce 7,000 tonnes cobalt and 42,000 tonnes copper annually over 38 years. Capital costs are pegged at US$335 million.