Etoile Operations

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A key source of copper and cobalt hydroxide


Chemaf’s Etoile mine was recognised as the world’s fourth-largest cobalt mine in 2019, while our integrated ISO9001-certified processing plant has also been setting new production records in copper and cobalt in recent years.

Although the mine’s oxide resources have now been largely depleted, it still has approximately 1.5 years of slimes, floats and residual oxide ore pockets to process. In keeping with its plans for future growth, Chemaf is currently developing mixed and sulphide resources residing below the pit of the existing Etoile mine, and upgrading the processing plant to treat this material, which is the Etoile II project. This will extend the life-of-mine by a further 10 years.

This, along with the upcoming Mutoshi Mine, will see Chemaf emerge as one of the most important producers of energy transition metals.

Etoile Mine


Lubumbashi, Katanga, DRC


Copper (Cu) and cobalt (Co) ore

Life of mine:

1.5 years of Mufunta Resources, 2.198 million tonnes with TCu 1.71% and AsCu 1.56% , with additional resources of Etoile Oxide and stockpiles 2.230 million tonnes with TCu 0.68% and TCo 0.25%.


Etoile Plant


Copper cathode and cobalt hydroxide concentrate


25,000 tpa capacity copper cathodes and 4,000 tpa capacity Cobalt content in hydroxide salt


Rich history

In 2003, Chemaf was granted the mining rights to Etoile and exploration rights in the surrounding areas.

Chemaf has a strong track record of investing, developing and optimising its asset base. With demand for electric vehicles (EVs) set to rise exponentially, Chemaf has an important role to play in providing the market with high-quality, responsibly sourced material.

The Etoile mine forms part of an integrated operation around Lubumbashi, Katanga, comprising the Etoile main open pit mine, Etoile SX-EW plant (under mining license PE577) and the Etoile Extension open pit mine (Mining License PE1538, adjacent to PE577).

The PE577 comprises six “carrés” (approximately 500 ha) and covers the Etoile main pit, and remaining underlying mixed and sulphide.

“We have a strong track record of investing, developing and optimising our asset base of highly productive mines and processing units.”


State-of-the-art processing

Chemaf leveraged its in-house expertise to commission a modern $144-million plant in Etoile in 2016. The plant has a capacity of 20,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of LME Grade A grade copper cathodes and 3,800 tpa of cobalt hydroxide concentrate and recently attained ISO9001 quality certification. Chemaf is further expanding its processing capacities the Etoile Phase 2 project in order to exploit mixed and sulphide resources below the existing Etoile open pit.

This comprises floatation and roaster facilities able to treat 5,000 tonnes per day (tpd) of raw ore and 400 tpd of sulphide concentrates. Due to be commissioned in 2023, the Etoile Phase 2 plant will treat sulphide and mixed ore for approximately 10 years of proven reserves.