Trafigura gets US$600M to fund Chemaf’s DRC cobalt projects

Trafigura gets US$600M to fund Chemaf’s DRC cobalt projects

The trading giant has agreed a US$600M syndicated financing facility with the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB).

Blue View

Trafigura said the funding would enable it to complete Chemaf's Mutoshi mine project in the DRC as well as the project’s processing plant in Kolwezi, as well as the expansion of its Etoile mine and processing plant in Lubumbashi.

The trader signed a US$600M financing and marketing deal with Chemaf and its owner, Shalina Resources, in January 2022, enabling it to market all the cobalt hydroxide produced by Chemaf's DRC operations.  At that time, Trafigura said that it planned to syndicate the majority of the US$600M financing to global banks.

Chemaf expects Mutoshi to start producing by end-2023, eventually ramping up to a capacity of 16ktpy Co in cobalt hydroxide and 48ktpy of copper cathode.

The financing deal can be considered positive news for the cobalt market.  Project Blue expects mine supply to increase by 11%py to 2027 in order to keep pace with growing demand.  In the DRC, by far the world’s biggest producer, existing producer output is expected to underpin growth, with the ramp-up of Glencore’s Mutanda a key factor.  However, new mine projects are required if supply is to meet demand and Mutoshi is one of two major projects (the other being CMOC’s Kisanfu) that we see as critical for market balance. 

  • 24 Nov 2022
  • Chemaf
  • Cobalt
  • Copper

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