American-Senegalese R&B singer Akon, through his company, has signed a deal to finance a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a joint venture with a state miner, Reuters reported.
The singer’s foray into the Congo’s mining sector comes through a U.S registered firm called White Waterfall LLC, of which Akon is the president and CEO, according to contracts published on the mines ministry website.
According to one of those contracts, dated December 14, signed by Akon, commits White Waterfall to paying a $2 million signing bonus and financing a feasibility study of the Kimono reserve in Haut Katanga province.
Akon, whose legal name is Aliaune Thiam, has launched a number of businesses and philanthropic ventures across Africa in recent years, including a $6 billion futuristic city in Senegal and a cryptocurrency called Akoin.
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
Congo is Africa’s top producer of copper and the world’s leading miner of cobalt, used in electric car batteries.