Jeff Lawrence on sun 26 nov 00
LUBUMBASHI, Congo -- In a country short of mountains, the 500 foot high heap
of slag overlooking this mining town is a national landmark of sorts.
Featured proudly on the Congolese one-franc note, the gigantic black cinder
cone, made up of waste from a century of coper smelting, is an
environmentally incorrect symbol of the Congo's fantastic mineral wealth --
a world-class asset that lately, like the franc itself, has been devalued by
one of Africa's most complicated wars.
Yet something that doesn't appear on the old bank notes may soon challenge
that bleak reality: A new smokestack from a $125 million furnace now juts
skyward beside Lubumbashi's slag mountain. It will soon process 5,000 tons
of cobalt, a valuable industrial metal, from the huge slag pile every year.
After climbing to $35 a pound in the late 1990s, the metal's price is
expected to stabilize at about $10 to $15 a pound in the years ahead...
Quoted from Chicago Tribune, November 25, 2000, article by Paul Salopek
Jeff Lawrence ph. 505-753-5913
Sun Dagger Design fx. 505-753-8074
18496 US HWY 285/84 email@example.com
Espanola, NM 87532 www.sundagger.com