Created: 1/8/1963

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Current Support Brief




CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY Office of Research and Reports









The rapid deterioration ol the Tshombe regime in Katanga Province of the Republic of tbe Congo poses the threat of extensive sabotage of that province's industrial facilities. Among these, the mines and plants of the giant Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (CMHK)rime target. Tshombe stated that unless the United Nationsease-fire, he would put into effect his long threatened "scorched earth" policy. nd some damage already has been inflicted.

produces large quantities of copper, cobalt, germanium, and zinc,ost of other metals and minerals, wouldajor blow to the economic and political stability of the Congo.atanga receivedfrom thisum equal to about half of the budgetary income of the Republic of the Congo in that year. zj Although' the loss ofwould be serious to the Congo, the impact upon the rest of the world, with the possible exception of Belgium, probably would be negligible.

I. Nature of the Facilities

The facilities of the Union Miniere include the entire gamut of mines and plants that normally are associatedarge, diversified, and complex mining and metallurgical operation plus such auxiliary butfacilities as power-generating plants, transmission lines, railcoal mines, cement plants, living quarters, and hospitals. 3/ All of the facilities are mechanized, modern, and efficient by the most up-to-date western standards. 4/ Most of the coppe r, cobalt, germanium, and zinc ores are produced by five large mines at Kamoto, Munonoi-Kolwezi, Ruse, Kipushi, and Ruashi; small quantities are producedargeof lesser installations. (Secor locations. ) The principal metal processing installations are at Kolwezi, Lubumbashi. and Jadotville. All of these facilities are electrified to an unusual degree. The electric power is supplied primarily by four large hydroelectric powerplants, 5/

of which the largest and newest is located at Le Marinel. 6/ Thc other hydroelectric powerplants are in Delcommune, Francqui, and Bia.n addition, there are small thermal powerplants at Jadotvillc and Eliaabethville. {Seeor locations of plants and transmission lines. )

II. Vulnc rabilities

Should Tshombc or his cohorts attempt the neutralization of the industrialogical point of attack would be the electric power generation and transmission facilities. 8/ Not only are such facilities potentially thc most vulnerable, but their loss would bring the entire mining and metallurgical industryall. 9/ Furthermore, in thc Prince Leopold minearge underground mine at Kipushi which produces morehird of the total output of copper and nearly all of the zinc produced in Katanga) prolonged flooding resultingailure to keep pumps in operation could result in the loss of capital worth millions of dollars.


The facilities most accessible to saboteurs would be localsubstations and transmission linos. Damage to such facilities would be the easiest to repair quickly, although some delays might be incurred in obtaining replacement transformers. Some local auxiliary power-generating equipment probably is available and could provide minimal supplies of power, but not enough lo maintain production. Such equipment also would be quite vulnerable to sabotage.

All four of the powerplants appear to be tied togetheringle grid so that the stoppage of power at any one generating plant would not necessarily cut the flow of power to any major consuming area, but all lines pass through the transformer station at Jadotville and damage to this station would interfere with operations throughout much of Katanga.his station, however, is now in UN hands. Insofar as can be determined, the total power capacity from the four hydroplants isegawattsrorated as follows: arinel, w; Delcommune,w; Francqui,w; and Bia,w.

In addition to supplying power for domestic use, the hydroelectric power complex in Katanga has been supplying power to Northern Rhodesia.

In recent years, however, power facilities have been built in Rhodesia and that country now may be nearly self-sufficient. Significantof power from Rhodesia for use in Katanga are not believed to be available, In any case, tho connecting grid is reported to have been cut.

C. Effect on Mines

Other thantoppage of production, the loss of power in several instances possibly could result in serious damage to the mines. Underground mines are vulnerable to flooding due to the failure of drainage pumps. The most important mine of this type is the large Prince Leopold mine at Kipushi which normally produces morehird of the copper and most of the zinc ores mined in Katanga.

lually high water-seepageoft and porous "countryystem of mining that involves heavy timbering. In hiscomplete flooding lasting several months might result in almost complete destruction of theequiring upears for fullf ower failure ofew days could curtailfor some time, however. When the heavy duty sump pumps are covered by water, they become useless and drainage must be achieved through the use of small portable pumps, beginning at the surface and working down to lower levels. econd mine of some importance in which the danger of flooding mayhreat is at Kambove near Jadotville. Most of the other mines in Katanga, including all of the big mines, are open-pit operations and are not subject to the threat of flooding.

The situation at present at the Prince Leopold mine is not clear. Although the mine now is in UN hands, the power lines to the areahave been cut and flooding was said to have begun3 because of the powerhis report that flooding hasdoes not mean necessarily that the mine will become completely flooded unless the power lines are repaired. This mine is known to have had, asn underground auxiliary power unitilovolt-amperes (kva) which, if operating, would be sufficient to run at least some of the pumps and could prevent the water from reaching the higher

levels. In recent years, however, this mine was tied into the grid into Northern Rhodesia on the assumption that, in an emergency, power could be drawn from The possibility exists, therefore, that the auxiliary unit may have been withdrawn and shipped elsewhere in the Congo, as apparently was done with someortable power units that had been located at Jadotville.

D. Other Facilities

Effective sabotage of the concentrating and metallurgicalof the UMIiK would be relatively difficult to achieve. Although damage of many types could be inflicted on these facilities, most of it would be repairable within several Some damage already has been achievedefinery at Jadotville through blasting and theof an "electrical device." The manager has said, however, that he probably could get the installation in working order

III. Impact of Loss of Production upon the Rest of the World

The output of products exported1 by the UMHK totaled about0 million and represented aboutercent of the total exports of the As shown by the tabulation below, the UMHK produces some metals in quantities of significance in relation to world output.






Outputl (Short Tons)

0/9 y

UMHK Outputlercent of World Output



Most of the mineral output of the UMHK is exported, largely toother Western European countries, and to the United States. The bulk of the blister copper, cobalt-copper alloy, zinc concentrates, and germanium concentrates are shipped to Belgium for further refining. The principal direct export to the United States is electrolytic cobalt.

Neither the United States nor the Western European countries other than Belgium would be affected significantlyack ofessation of production in Katanga, even if the plants were down for several months. Commercial stocks of these products in the United States and Belgium are adequate to cover any resulting decrease in suppliesonths. Furthermore,ew months the copper production in other countries, notably the United States, Rhodesia. Chile, and Canada, would be increased. On the other hand, the Belgian copper refining and fabricating industries, which depend heavily on imports from Katanga, would suffer some hardship. Although the production of cobalt in other countries could not be increased sharply, the United States possesses large surplus stocks that could be drawn upon in the eventrolonged shutdown. Also.US stockpiles could provide any necessaryof cadmium, zinc, and copper. Little information is availablegermanium stocks, but in the eventessation of production in Katanga, the needed supplies probably could be obtained from Southwest Africa. Data on the US stockpiles of selected metals produced in UMHK facilities are as:

Short Tons

Copper Cobalt Cadmium Zinc

Present Kaxlnum Objective


Present Inventory (As2

Excess over Present Objective



Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic: