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Etoile Mine

A leading source of copper and cobalt hydroxide

Etoile is one of the largest open-cast copper-cobalt mining operations in the DRC. The oxidised ore is currently processed at a large-scale SX and E&W facility commissioned in 2016. Recognised as the world’s fourth-largest cobalt mine in 2019, Chemaf’s Etoile integrated ISO9001-certified processing plant has set new production records in copper and cobalt in recent years. While processing slimes, floats and residual oxide ore pockets from the first Etoile development, Chemaf is concurrently developing mixed and sulphide resources residing below the pit of the Etoile mine and upgrading the processing plant to treat this material. This will see Chemaf emerge as one of the most important producers of energy transition metals.

A key source of copper and cobalt hydroxide

US$128 million Etoile Processing Plant based on Chemaf’s proven technology.

25,000 tpa capacity Copper Cathodes

4,000 tpa capacity Cobalt content in hydroxide salt

Location: Lubumbashi, Katanga, DRC

Product: Copper (Cu) and cobalt (Co) ore

A rich history

In 2003, Chemaf was granted the mining rights to Etoile and exploration rights in the surrounding areas. Chemaf has a strong track record of investing, developing and optimising its asset base. With demand for electric vehicles (EVs) set to rise exponentially, Chemaf has an important role to play in providing the market with high-quality, responsibly sourced material. The Etoile mine forms part of an integrated operation around Lubumbashi, Katanga, comprising the Etoile main open pit mine, Etoile SX-EW plant (under mining license PE577) and the Etoile Extension open pit mine (Mining License PE1538, adjacent to PE577). The PE577 comprises six “carrés” (approximately 500 ha) and covers the Etoile main pit, and remaining underlying mixed and sulphide.

State-of-the-art processing

Chemaf leveraged its in-house expertise to commission a modern $144-million plant in Etoile in 2016. The plant has a capacity of 20,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of LME Grade A grade copper cathodes and 3,800 tpa of cobalt hydroxide concentrate and recently attained ISO9001 quality certification. Chemaf’s expanded processing capacities at Etoile Phase 2 to exploit minerals and and sulphide resources below the existing Etoile open pit comprise floatation and roaster facilities able to treat 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd) of raw ore and 400 tpd of sulphide concentrates. Commissioned in 2023, the Etoile Phase 2 plant will treat sulphide and mixed ore for approximately 10 years of proven reserves.

US$128 million Etoile Processing Plant based on Chemaf’s proven technology.