Critical Metals has begun copper production at the Molulu project, a former copper cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The production launch comes after the completion of on-site preparation work and the arrival of necessary mining equipment. This is a significant development as the company aims to acquire additional assets.
The mine will initially operate on a single-shift schedule, with an estimated output of 10,000 tonnes of copper oxide ore per month in steady-state production. The copper ore produced in January 2023 will be stored for sale in the market in February 2023.
All copper extracted from the Molulu mine will be sent to nearby processing plants, with four in the Likasi and Lubumbashi areas showing interest in purchasing the ore.
The company’s team is also exploring ways to boost monthly copper production and will provide updates as they become available.
Additionally, test samples have been taken from the Central and South Cobalt Anomalies, with 180 samples sent for independent analysis at a local laboratory. Results will be announced when they are ready.
To increase awareness of Critical Metals among global investors, two London-based mining analysts will join the company’s board on a visit to the Molulu mine in February.
The trip aims to provide a better understanding of the mine’s copper oxide and sulphide production, cobalt potential, and cash flow for potential investors.
With much of the necessary infrastructure in place, the company has assembled a strong team of mining experts on-site, including a project manager, four geologists, two mine engineers, a mine manager and local support staff. With copper prices currently above $9,000 per metric tonne, the company is well-positioned to capitalize on the market.
Meanwhile Russell Fryer, CEO of Critical Metals, said: “We are thrilled to announce the start of production at the Molulu project, which was completed on budget and we expect to begin selling copper oxide ore as early as next month.
The company expects to be free-cash flow positive by the end of H1 2023, demonstrating the high cash flow potential under current market conditions. We anticipate increased activity at Molulu in the coming months, especially as the rainy season ends in March, and we look forward to expanding monthly copper ore production.
In an exciting development for the company, two London-based mining analysts will visit the Molulu mine in February. These analysts are well-respected and their research on Critical Metals will be read by family offices, wealth management firms, and buy-side institutions in the UK, Europe, Africa, Australia, and North America. I am excited to showcase all the hard work that has been done at Molulu.
2022 was a transformative year for Critical Metals and 2023 looks to continue this positive trend. I believe the Molulu project has the potential to become a leading producer of cobalt and copper in the DRC and I look forward to updating shareholders on our progress throughout the year.
I want to express my gratitude to our local DRC partners for their patience and ongoing support as we embark on this journey. They are essential to our success and we are grateful for their guidance, knowledge, and partnership.”
The Molulu project
The Molulu Project is situated approximately 98 km north of Lubumbashi in the Katanga Copperbelt, and 30 km northwest of the village of Malambwe.
The Katangan Copperbelt, where copper has been mined since the late 19th century, is home to the Molulu Project. The mineralized zones in this area are located at the western end of the Katangan Copperbelt, which is known as one of the world’s most important metallogenic provinces, and is home to some of the world’s most abundant deposits of copper, cobalt, and uranium.