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Norin Mining to Acquire Chemaf, Securing Two Copper-Cobalt Mines in the DRC

July 4, 2024

Latest company news about Norin Mining to Acquire Chemaf, Securing Two Copper-Cobalt Mines in the DRC

 

On June 27, Chemaf Resources Limited (CRL) announced that it has reached an agreement to sell the company, including its subsidiaries, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norin Mining Limited. This acquisition will provide Norin Mining with two copper-cobalt mining projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Etoile and Mutoshi. The proposed transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024, pending the fulfillment of customary closing conditions.

 

Chemaf SA, founded in 2001, is a prominent operator and developer of copper and cobalt projects in the DRC. Over the past two decades, Chemaf has produced more than 300,000 tonnes of copper and 55,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide from the Etoile mine. The future of Chemaf lies in the expansion of the Etoile mine (Etoile Phase II) and the development of the new greenfield Mutoshi mine, both of which are in the late stages of development. These projects have the potential to collectively produce over 75,000 tonnes of copper and 20,000 tonnes of cobalt hydroxide annually.

 

CRL holds 94.68% of Chemaf's shares, with the remaining 5% held by the DRC government. CRL was founded by Chairman Shiraz Virji and is headquartered in Dubai. It is a subsidiary of the Chemaf Group, which in turn is part of the Shalina Group.

 

Norin Mining, an established mining and trading company, has a diverse portfolio of base metal projects across the African continent, including two existing projects in the DRC: Comika and Lamikal. In 2023, Norin Mining generated $4.3 billion in revenue from its mineral-related activities.

 

Jeremy Meynert, Chairman Shiraz Virji's advisor and Chemaf Group's advisor, commented:

"After a highly competitive international auction process, we are delighted to have signed a deal with Norin Mining. This transaction will allow CRL and Chemaf to meet their obligations to existing lenders and creditors. Importantly, Chemaf has found a new owner with the experience and determination necessary to manage Shiraz Virji's assets and complete the Etoile Phase II and Mutoshi projects. Despite the numerous challenges Chemaf has faced over the past 12 months, the resilience of our management team, the dedication of our employees and contractors, and the support of our suppliers have enabled us to continue production at the Etoile mine while seeking new capital to advance the Etoile Phase II and Mutoshi development projects. Ongoing production has given us the time to secure the best possible deal for all stakeholders."

 

Chemaf founder and Chairman Shiraz Virji stated:

"For over 20 years, Chemaf has been a proud family-owned business. Our operations have brought significant economic and social benefits to the communities where our projects are located and to the DRC as a whole through job creation, community, environmental, and healthcare programs, and the payment of royalties and taxes. I am immensely proud and grateful for the efforts of our team in establishing Chemaf as a leading copper and cobalt producer in the DRC. I also appreciate the professionalism and commitment of the Norin Mining team towards this transaction. Norin Mining has a strong track record in mining operations and development, particularly in the DRC, making them an ideal choice to bring Etoile Phase II and Mutoshi into production. I wish them every success and am confident that under their leadership, Chemaf will continue to contribute significantly to the economic and social development of the DRC."

 

latest company news about Norin Mining to Acquire Chemaf, Securing Two Copper-Cobalt Mines in the DRC  0

 

Strategic Assessment and Investment Process

In recent years, Chemaf has undertaken a significant expansion of its Etoile mine in Lubumbashi, Katanga Province, while developing the large greenfield Mutoshi mine in Kolwezi, Lualaba Province. Despite substantial investment exceeding $600 million, additional funding is required to complete these projects. The decline in copper and cobalt prices, impacting cash flow from the existing Etoile mine, combined with inflationary pressures in the global mining industry, has resulted in a funding shortfall. Consequently, in August 2023, CRL initiated a strategic review led by Jeremy Meynert.

 

After a comprehensive review of various financing options, CRL decided to pursue an equity investment process to secure direct investment at the CRL level, including the potential sale of the company. The equity investment process began in September 2023, focusing on finding an investor with a strong track record in responsible mining operations and project development to complete the Etoile Phase II and Mutoshi projects.

 

The company received significant interest from investors worldwide, ultimately leading to the proposed transaction with Norin Mining.

 

Transaction Overview

Norin Mining's subsidiary, Kingco, has signed a share purchase agreement with the Chemaf Group to acquire all of Chemaf Group's shares in CRL. Chemaf will remain a subsidiary of CRL. Kingco has also agreed to acquire Shiraz Virji's direct shares in Chemaf.

 

The DRC government has approved the sale of CRL, which will result in an indirect change of control of Chemaf. The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions, including approvals from Chemaf's partner Gecamines SA in Mutoshi and Chinese regulatory authorities.

 

The transaction consideration will primarily be allocated to CRL and Chemaf's lenders and creditors, with major lenders having signed settlement agreements.

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