Lubumbashi - A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore [JSE:GLN] threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4% of the metal within two months.
Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5 000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned miner has blocked GTL’s access to the site since March 23, according to Groupe Forrest CEO Malta Forrest.
“Gecamines has blocked our access stating that it believes we have exceeded the limits set in our contract,” Forrest said in an interview April 15 in Lubumbashi. “It’s simply not true. Despite our requests Gecamines provided no evidence for their calculations.”