The Democratic Republic of Congo's State mining firm Gecamines has shelved a plan to sell its 20% stake in the Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) mining project, which is controlled by Glencore, Gecamines said on Tuesday.
Gecamines had considered selling its stake to Fleurette Group, a company controlled by Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, which already holds shares in KCC and has snapped up a number of other major Congolese mining assets.
The proposed sale was to raise funds for other projects, Gecamines had said. However, in August, Congo's mining minister wrote a letter warning Gecamines against selling the country's assets without government approval.
Gecamines MD Ahmed Kalej said it was not selling the stake.
"It is a strategic decision. We are reevaluating the value of our share in the project. Future decisions will be made on a basis of the need for financing at that time," he added.
KCC is situated in Congo's copper-rich Katanga province. Last year Congo produced a record 942 000 metric tons of copper, helping to drive economic growth of 8.5% in 2013.
Gecamines has been trying to raise cash for new infrastructure and plants in order to ramp up its own production to about 100 000 t by 2016.
Congo possesses enormous mineral wealth and has deposits of diamonds, gold, copper, tin and coltan, but decades of mismanagement, corruption and violence mean that the vast majority of its 65-million people live in poverty.
Gecamines has been criticised in the past by the International Monetary Fund for a lack of transparency in the sale of its mining assets following concerns that stakes in projects had been sold for considerably less than their market value.