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Whose Mine is It Anyway?

There has been no change in control of Tenke Fungurume Mining, majority owner China Molybdenum has said, contradicting authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who said a temporary administrator had taken control of one of the world’s largest cobalt and copper mines. China Moly controls an 80 percent take in the copper and cobalt mine, while Gecamines owns 20 percent. “There is no change in the management right of TFM, and production and operations are running as usual,” China Molybdenum spokesperson Vincent Zhou said in an email to Reuters. However, the secretary-general of Congo’s state mining company Gecamines told Reuters on Thursday that a court-appointed temporary administrator had officially taken charge amid a dispute between TFM shareholders. The dispute started last August when DRC’s government announced it had formed a commission to reassess the reserves and resources at TFM, which is also among the world’s largest copper producers. The government suspects the mine has understated its levels of reserves in order to reduce the amount of royalties it pays to Gecamines. China Molybdenum denies having done so.