Congo’s copper and cobalt trucks on move as strike ends

A truckers’ strike in the Democratic Republic of Congo that blocked some exports of copper and cobalt has been resolved, according to people familiar with the matter.

The drivers stopped shipping the green-energy metals from the mining hub of Kolwezi around the end of October in a dispute over danger pay. That threatened shipments from major mines operated by companies such as Glencore Plc, CMOC Group Ltd. and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.

Congo is the world’s largest cobalt producer and one of the biggest sources of copper. Almost all the material is trucked by road from southeastern Congo to Zambia, destined for ports in South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique.

The striking drivers were mainly from Zambia and Tanzania and were demanding an additional $700 per journey in risk payments. Tanzania’s ambassador to Congo traveled to Kolwezi last week to meet the provincial governor and help resolve the dispute.

Glencore declined to comment. Congo’s mines ministry and CMOC didn’t immediately respond to messages requesting comment.

Ivanhoe said in an emailed statement that its trucks had been moving since Nov. 9 and “any incremental delays in outbound shipments resulting from the situation were promptly cleared and operations remain unaffected.”

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