Kasomeno-Mwenda Project to Cut Copper and Cobalt Transport Costs by 20%

Kasomeno-Mwenda project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to have a significant impact on the US mining industry. The $850 million Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project will connect copper and cobalt mines in the DRC to East African ports via Zambia, making it easier and more affordable to transport these essential minerals to the US.

A view of the Luapula river and sky over the Luapula Bridge, the site for the Kasomeno-Mwenda project

A view of the Luapula river and sky over the Luapula Bridge, the longest bridge in Zambia, stretching over 2.5 kilometres over the Bangweulu wetlands

Kasomeno-Mwenda project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is expected to have a significant impact on the US mining industry. The $850 million Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project will connect copper and cobalt mines in the DRC to East African ports via Zambia, making it easier and more affordable to transport these essential minerals to the US.

The construction of a bridge over the Luapula River, connecting Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, was initiated by Presidents Felix Tshisekedi and Hakainde Hichilema, marking a significant moment in history. 

The 350-meter-long bridge will serve as an essential link between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo, reducing the current travel distance by an impressive 300 kilometers. Funding for the project has been made possible by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. 

kasomeno-mwenda
Path of GED Africa project. © Indigo Publications

Kasomeno-Mwenda project expected to reduce Transport Costs by 20%

The DRC is the world’s leading producer of cobalt and the second-largest producer of copper. These minerals are critical for the production of electric vehicles, batteries, and other renewable energy technologies. As the world transitions to a clean energy future, demand for cobalt and copper is expected to soar.

Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project is expected to reduce the transportation cost of copper and cobalt from the DRC by up to 20%. This will make it more competitive for mining companies around the world to source these minerals from the DRC. It will also help to reduce the global reliance on China for cobalt and copper, as China currently controls a large share of the global supply of these minerals.

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The Road ahead: GED Africa & Duna Aszfalt 

GED Africa, based in Mauritius, has announced plans to construct a road with assistance from Hungarian construction firm, Duna Aszfalt Zrt. According to GED, the extensive construction work is slated to commence after the rainy season and will require three years to finish. When asked via email on Tuesday, the company confirmed that the project will entail a central border post and toll gate located between Zambia and Congo.

According to sources, GED is reportedly in talks with the Trade Development Bank and the African Finance Corporation to discuss financing options. The company has outlined its plan to procure 70% of the required capital through debt, with the remaining 30% being funded by its own equity.

More Jobs and Boost Trade in the Region

Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project is also expected to benefit the economies of the DRC and Zambia. The project will create jobs and boost trade in the region. It will also help to improve transportation infrastructure in the DRC, which is essential for economic development.

Kasomeno-Mwenda road project is scheduled to be completed in 2025. It is a significant investment in the future of the mining industry and the US economy.

Under a public-private partnership with the European Development Group, the Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project is currently underway. The project has allocated resources towards building 93 kilometers of roads between the two countries, promising to enhance connectivity and facilitate cross-border trade.

Prime Minister Sama Lukunde
Prime Minister Sama Lukunde

The significance of the project for the people of Congo was underlined by Prime Minister Sama Lukunde, who emphasized its potential to generate employment opportunities and enhance the overall standard of living. Furthermore, he emphasized that the project would bolster the relationship between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia, thereby fostering cooperation and promoting regional stability.

Potential Impact on US Consumers

Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project in the DRC is also expected to have a positive impact on US consumers. By reducing the cost of transporting cobalt and copper, the project could lead to lower prices for electric vehicles, batteries, and other renewable energy products. This could make it more affordable for Americans to switch to clean energy technologies.

Risks and Challenges

There are some potential risks and challenges associated with the Kasomeno-Kasenga Mwenda project. One challenge is the political instability in the DRC. The country has a history of conflict and corruption. If the political situation in the DRC deteriorates, it could delay or disrupt the construction of the road.

Another challenge is the environmental impact of the road project. The new road will pass through some sensitive ecosystems. It is important to ensure that the road is built in a sustainable way and that it does not damage the environment.

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