DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – PHELPS DODGE of Phoenix, Arizona, has given conditional approval to the US$650-million development of a mine and processing facilities at the Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt property. Final approval depends on receiving government approval of agreements reached with the local electricity supplier.
The project is a joint venture of Phelps Dodge (57.75%), TENKE MINING (24.75%) of Vancouver and GECAMINES (17.5%). Phelps Dodge has agreed to provide 70% and Tenke Mining 30% of the development financing. The Tenke Fungurume deposit is considered to be one of the largest, highest-grade, undeveloped copper-cobalt finds in the world.
Initial mining will focus on 103 million tonnes of oxide ore reserves. It is expected to be in full production in late 2008 or early 2009. During the first 10 years of mining, total annual production is projected to be approximately 250 million lb of copper and 18 million lb of cobalt. The life of the initial project is anticipated to be approximately 40 years.
Additional details about the Tenke Fungurume project is available at the Phelps Dodge website, www.PhelpsDodge.com.