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TORONTO, April 17 (Reuters) - Shares of Ivanplats Ltd fell almost 18 percent on Wednesday after Democratic Republic of Congo banned exports of copper and cobalt concentrates, though there was no immediate indication that the Africa-focused miner's projects would be affected by the ban.
The export ban is intended to encourage more value-added production in Congo, according to an order from the country's mining ministry obtained by Reuters. Dated April 5, it includes a 90-day grace period.
Ivanplats' Kamoa copper project is in Congo. A preliminary economic assessment released last September included plans for a concentrator and smelter.
The company, founded by mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland, said Thursday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Congo's state-owned power company to upgrade a nearby power plant, securing more electricity for Kamoa.
Ivanplats said on March 28 that it was planning a drilling program at its nearby Kipushi project, which includes a historic zinc-copper mine.
An Ivanplats spokesman could not immediately comment.
The company's shares fell 17.8 percent to C$2.96 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Leslie Adler)