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Breakthrough in wildcat strike sees some Congo copper drivers resume work

Kitco News

JOHANNESBURG/ LONDON, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Trucks carrying thousands of tons of copper in the Democratic Republic of Congo accompanied by security escorts have resumed travel toward the border with Zambia following a wildcat strike, two sources told Reuters on Thursday.

About 2,700 trucks carrying around 89,000 tons of copper had been stuck in Kolwezi after drivers went on a wildcat strike demanding a risk allowance of $700 per journey, Reuters reported on Nov. 7 citing sources.

"The sudden release of the trucks will exacerbate the situation at the border. There were already bottlenecks at the border so the pileup will take sometime to clear," said Hippy Tjivikua, chief executive of Walvis Bay Corridor Group. Tjivikua said.

The trucks were likely to be stuck in queues at the Zambian border for some time, said Jackson Banda, secretary-general of the SADC Drivers Association.

Truck drivers face an arduous journey from mines on the central African copperbelt to ports in Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania. Truckers also deliver materials and equipments to the mines.

The strike started almost a week ago and stranded copper and cobalt from Ivanhoe Mines' Kamoa Kakula, CMOC Group's Tenke Fungurume, Glencore's Kamoto and Sicomines' Mashamba West.

(Reporting by Felix Njini and Julian Luk; editing by Jason Neely)

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