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DRC State Mine Gets Major Funding

FILE - FILE - A view of processing facilities at Tenke Fungurume, a copper and cobalt mine 110 kilometers northwest of Lubumbashi, jointly owned by Freeport McMoRan, Lundin Mining and state mining company Gecamines, January 29, 2013

PARIS - A subsidiary of the Democratic Republic of Congo's state mining company Gecamines said on Tuesday it had secured $75 million in funding to build a new hydro-metallurgical unit to produce materials used in the manufacturing of semiconductors.

The move takes advantage of DRC's wealth in minerals used to manufacture mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices.

The diversification comes following Gecamines February 7 announcement that the state-owned-enterprise (SOE) plans to explore for minerals needed for the transition to a lower carbon economy, including lithium, tin, and rare earths.

"Our geologists will aim to organize prospection campaigns on all our sites to look for lithium, tin, cobalt, coltan, titanium, wolframite, gold, rare earths, etcetera," Chairman Alphonse Kaputo Kalubi said then as part of efforts to diversify Gecamines' activities.

The April funding announcement addresses the mining concerns' strategies.