As part of its development policy commitment to local value creation in the raw materials sector, the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) developed a model for identifying local investment opportunities in raw materials projects. The LION (Local Investment Opportunities in Natural resources projects) tool analyses data from a field study conducted in the summer of 2018 on the cash operating costs of copper and cobalt mines in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and their percentage allocation to 34 specific purchasing categories such as energy, water, fuel and lubricants, spare parts and equipment, sulphur and sulphuric acid, abrasives, maintenance and repair, tyres, construction and related services, food and beverages, personnel services or telecommunications. The total purchasing volume examined amounts to over US$ 5 billion annually and represents an enormous economic potential for local and international suppliers in the Copperbelt. In addition, copper and cobalt are indispensable elements of the global energy transition. Their cost-effective production is therefore of a global concern.
"The LION tool blends together publicly available data on mine production volumes and cash operating costs with the cost split, that is the percentage spent on 34 different product categories” explains Nils Handler, research associate at BGR.