China’s Curb on Germanium Exports to Benefit Congo, State Miner Says

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On Monday, the Chinese government declared export restrictions on some gallium and germanium products for the purpose of protecting national security. This news has caused worry amongst global firms who are involved in the business of semiconductors and defense production.

 

“We will produce germanium (to replace material) that’s unavailable for the market,” Gecamines’ chairman Guy Robert Lukama told Reuters.

 

Gecamines, the Congolese state miner, revealed that they are likely to experience an increased value for germanium due to China’s restrictions on its product exports. 

 

Such restrictions, which go into effect on August 1, may lead to supply chain disruptions on a global scale, since China currently controls much of the world’s production of the materials used for computer chips and other pieces of technology. 

 

Congo, the number one supplier of cobalt and largest copper producer in Africa, has plans to look into locating minerals such as lithium and tin, as well as rare earths, that would contribute to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy. This in turn, may provide Gecamines with even more potential gain. 

 

While many other international companies, like Nyrstar, consider potential projects involving germanium and gallium, Teck Resources, the biggest North American producer of the material, states that the Chinese export restrictions will have no effect on their current production.

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