Australia-based mining company MMG has committed to extending the life of its Kinsevere copper and cobalt mine for at least another 13 years.
The company said it expects to invest between $550-600 million through available cash reserves and debt facilities in the Democratic Republic of Congo mine.
Once fully ramped up, the Kinsevere Expansion Project will produce 80,000 tonnes of copper cathode and 4,000-6,000 tonnes of cobalt in cobalt hydroxide.
Construction will begin in 2022, with the first cobalt production expected in 2023.
First copper cathode production from the sulphide orebody is scheduled for 2024, with the mine to continue production of copper cathode from the remaining oxide orebody during the construction phase.
MMG chief executive officer Liangang Li said: "The project adds a significant amount of cobalt production to our portfolio, at a time when demand from electric vehicles and energy storage systems will accelerate and we transition towards a low carbon future.
"Securing the future of Kinsevere will importantly allow us to continue our contribution to nearby communities and provide employment and development opportunities for our many valued MMG team members in the DRC.
"As a first-mover in copper production from sulphide ores in the DRC, we are excited about the opportunities."