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A dispute over one of the world's biggest copper and cobalt mines is escalating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, threatening to disrupt exports of essential battery materials and raising questions about the project’s future.

A top executive from state mining company Gécamines said that partner CMOC Group owes $7.6bn (about R122bn) in overdue payments, and accused the Chinese metals producer and trader of posing a threat to national security...

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