Nzuri Goes Hunting For A Copper-Cobalt Monster

By Barry Fitzgerald | More Articles by Barry Fitzgerald

Ivanhoe neighbour Nzuri goes hunting for a copper-cobalt monster of its own….plus, Nusantara Resources comes to market seeking up to $20m to get its 1.74moz Awak Mas gold deposit moving towards production and Spitfire set for first assays.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is not everyone’s cup of tea. But it is the place to be if big and high-grade copper and cobalt tickles your fancy.

In recent times it has been the ever-tinny Robert Friedland who has highlighted the DRC’s premier address for copper, with his Ivanhoe Mines making the Kamoa–Kakula copper discovery in a previously unknown extension of the Central African copper belt. The indicated resource at Kamoa-Kakula currently stands at about one billion tonnes of 3.02% copper, plus another inferred resource of 191 million tonnes of 2.37% copper.

It is spectacular stuff. Still, operating in the DRC comes with particular challenges when it comes to ensuring mining operations are run with the same sort of sustainability, transparency and ethics that are demanded elsewhere in the world. It is possible to do all that in the DRC. Ivan Glasenberg’s Glencore is there under the full scrutiny of the myriad non-government organisations that have a focus on the DRC, as in the Chinese-owned but Australian managed MMG.

The increased transparency and best practices that the likes of Friedland, Glencore and MMG have brought to the DRC is welcome stuff.

It also means that junior Australian companies with a DRC flavour and operating with the same best practice philosophy that Friedland, Glencore, MMG and others have brought to the DRC, no longer have to spend half their time dealing with sovereign and social risk questions from investors.

There is now an acceptance that with the right intent, it is possible to operate ethically in the DRC, a country that just happens to be a first-class address for high grade copper and 60 per cent of the world supply of the boom-time battery metal, cobalt.

It is against that background that ASX-listed and DRC-focussed Nzuri Copper (NZC) has popped onto the radar. It last traded at 16.5c for a market cap of $38m, which is arguably on the light side of things because it is both a near-term copper/cobalt producer and an explorer in the same neck of the woods as Ivanhoe’s Kamoa–Kakula monster.

The development opportunity is the near-surface Kalongwe copper/cobalt deposit (302,000 tonnes of copper and 42,000 tonnes of cobalt), now the subject of a feasibility study which will probably be released in August.

Plus, Nusantara’s Indonesian sleeping beauty. Read more.

Barry Fitzgerald

About Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald has covered the resources industry for 30 years. His column highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks - most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper and before that, The Age.

View more articles by Barry Fitzgerald →