Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
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In a groundbreaking development for the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Umicore, a global leader in materials technology and recycling, has inked an exclusive, long-term partnership agreement with STL1, a subsidiary of Gécamines. This partnership is set to revolutionize the valorization of germanium extracted from the Big Hill2 tailings site located in Lubumbashi, DRC.

Under the terms of the agreement, Umicore will lend its expertise to optimize STL’s newly established processing facility at the Big Hill site. Leveraging its refining and recycling proficiency, Umicore aims to enhance the extraction process of germanium, a critical metal used in high-tech applications. In return, Umicore secures exclusive access to the processed germanium for its material solutions production.

STL, over the years, has been extracting metals including zinc, silver, cobalt, copper, and germanium from the Big Hill’s extensive reserves. With a century’s worth of mining activity contributing to 10 million tons of metals-containing slags, STL’s focus now shifts to maximizing the value derived from these resources within the DRC. This strategic move aligns with its commissioning of a new hydro-metallurgical facility in 2023, aimed at optimizing the valorization of germanium concentrates.

The collaboration between Umicore and STL marks a significant milestone in enhancing the local mining industry’s capabilities. The partnership not only promises to diversify Umicore’s germanium supply sources but also ensures a steady, multi-annual offtake of substantial volumes, bolstering the resilience of the supply chain.

The commencement of refining operations by Umicore is slated for the final quarter of 2024, with subsequent plans for ramping up STL’s germanium extraction capacities. Umicore’s Electro-Optic Materials (EOM) Business Unit stands to benefit from this agreement, as it specializes in utilizing and recycling germanium for optical and electronic applications such as fiber optics, solar cells, and electronics.

Moreover, the collaboration extends beyond operational and technical support, with Umicore committed to skill development initiatives to analyze germanium content in tailings for recycling purposes. This aligns with STL’s ambitions to expand downstream germanium product offerings while adhering to the highest Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.

The partnership holds promise for stimulating economic growth, creating job opportunities, and fostering skill development within local communities. Mathias Miedreich, CEO of Umicore, emphasized the significance of the agreement in advancing circular business models and contributing to the local economy through sustainable resource utilization.

In echoing the sentiment, Guy Robert Lukama, Chairman of Gécamines SA/STL, underscored the strategic importance of the partnership in realizing the organization’s vision to emerge as a major player in strategic minerals processing. He highlighted the potential for job creation and economic empowerment, emphasizing the pivotal role of partnerships in driving industrial revolution and energy transition agendas.

Grant Dempsey, General Manager of STL, reiterated the transformative impact of the collaboration, emphasizing its potential to bolster the local economy, industry, and environment. The partnership, he noted, will not only enhance operational efficiency but also contribute to emission reductions and resource optimization across various sectors.