KINSHASA (Reuters) - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Australian-based fund manager Taurus Mining have agreed to invest $162.5 million in one of Democratic Republic of Congo’s largest copper mines, its owner Tiger Resources said on Friday.
The $40.5 million loan from the IFC, the private lending arm of the World Bank, will be its first investment in Congo’s mining sector since the government expropriated a mine owned by First Quantum Minerals in 2010, in which the IFC held a stake.
The investment still requires final approval from the IFC’s Board of Directors, Tiger said in a statement.
Taurus Mining Finance Fund will lend an additional $122 million to Tiger to help refinance existing debt and expand the Kipoi Copper Project in southeastern Congo, the statement added.
Tiger aims to expand copper cathode production at Kipoi, which began in May 2014, from 25,000 to 32,500 tonnes per year by November 2016.
Congo, Africa’s leading copper producer, mined over 1 million tonnes of the metal for the first time in 2014.
The chamber of mines expects output to dip this year due to electricity shortages and Glencore’s decision last month to suspend production at Katanga Mining unit for 18 months.