Mar.1 (Bloomberg) --Metorex Ltd., planning to invest as much as $150 million to build a copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is negotiating loans to help fund the mine as rising prices spur producers to expand.
Management may seek board approval for the Kinsenda project at the end of April and start digging the mine soon after, Chief Executive Officer Terence Goodlace said today by mobile phone. The CEO is in talks on a $66 million loan to replace existing debt facilities expiring in 2013, he said.
Rising demand for metals and minerals in emerging markets has pushed up prices, triggering an increase in investment in new reserves. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 commodities has jumped 35 percent in the past year as the cost of raw materials from copper to wheat and cotton advanced.
Kinsenda, where some infrastructure already exists, may produce 22,000 metric tons of copper a year, boosting Metorex’s output of the metal by about 40 percent, Goodlace said. The CEO is also studying other projects in Congo and Zambia to benefit from a forecast supply shortfall this decade. Copper prices rose by a third in the past 12 months to $9,822 a ton in London.
Metorex increased output of the metal by 5 percent in the six months ended Dec. 31 to 26,358 tons and raised cobalt production by 26 percent to 2,021 tons, the company said today in a statement.
Metorex gained 2 cents, or 0.4 percent, to 5.72 rand as of 10:20 a.m. in Johannesburg trading.