* Democratic Republic of Congo produced 296,717 tonnes of copper in the first quarter of 2018, up 8.2 percent over the same period last year, the central bank said in a report on Thursday.
* Cobalt production in the first quarter of 2018 rose 34.4 percent to 23,921 tonnes, the bank said.
* Gold production in the first quarter of 2018 rose 9.7 percent to 8,549 kilograms, the bank said.
* Congo is Africa’s top copper producer and the world’s leading miner of cobalt, a key ingredient in batteries for electric cars and other electronics. (Reporting by Aaron Ross; Editing by Adrian Croft)