Senegalese R&B singer Akon signs JV in Congo to build copper-cobalt mine

A COMPANY led by American-Senegalese R&B singer Akon has signed a deal to finance a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a joint venture with a state miner, said Reuters citing a contract published by the mines ministry.

Akon’s investment is through a US-registered firm called White Waterfall LLC of which he is president and CEO, said the newswire.

One of the contracts, dated December 14 and signed by Akon, whose legal name is Aliaune Thiam, commits White Waterfall to paying a $2m signing bonus and financing a feasibility study of the Kimono reserve in Haut Katanga province.

White Waterfall is a private equity fund that invests in mining companies that are not publicly traded, according to its website. The site does not list the company’s investors or any investments.

The Grammy-nominated singer, known for hit songs like “Don’t Matter” and “Smack That,” has launched a number of business and philanthropic ventures across Africa in recent years, including a $6bn futuristic city in Senegal and a cryptocurrency called Akoin, said Reuters.

The DRC is Africa’s top producer of copper and the world’s leading miner of cobalt, used in electric car batteries.

The company, Akon’s media team and the director general of state miner SODIMICO did not respond to a request for comment.

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