The Entreprise Générale du Cobalt (EGC), a subsidiary of Gécamines, was officially launched in Johannesburg on 31 March. In development since its creation by a state decree in December 2019, and led since then by Jean-Dominique Takis, a senior executive and director of Gécamines, this new entity holds a monopoly on the purchase, processing and marketing of artisanally mined cobalt in the DRC.
“Our country holds 80% of the world’s cobalt reserves. It currently accounts for around 65% of global production, or 95,000 tonnes (tn) per year, of which 18,000tn, or $800m in revenue at current prices, comes from artisanal mining sites,” said Albert Yuma Mulimbi, president of Gécamines, who has been a driving force behind the creation of EGC.
A triple challenge to its mission
In a speech inflected with nationalist overtones, the Congolese CEO said the EGC will: “[Put] an end to a quasi mafia system based on the exploitation of Congolese workers, who are robbed of part of their income by intermediaries who sell untraceable ore through unauthorised export channels”.