DRC Ready To Back Down On Higher Mining Stake Demand

DRC Ready To Back Down On Higher Mining Stake Demand

Democratic Republic of Congo plans to lower it stake demand from mining project in the country following outcry from investors in the vast mineral-rich nation, Reuters reported on Monday. The central African country had proposals to increase the government’s share in new mining ventures and to triple copper royalties.

Chantal Bashizi, the vice-president of a commission studying a new mining code, told Reuters the government had already lowered its proposed stake in new projects from 35 percent to 15 percent.

“We are now discussing going further, down to 10 percent,” she said. “In many of the countries in the region it is 10 percent, I think we will approve that.”

Congo’s rich deposits of diamonds, gold, copper, tin and coltan attract mining investors from across the world.

Reuters reported the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saying last week that Congo produced 942,000 tonnes of copper last year, a 52 percent increase year-on-year, making it Africa’s largest producer of the metal, according to commodities analysis company CRU Group.

Bashizi told Reuters President Joseph Kabila’s government was revising Congo’s 2002 mining code in a bid to earn more from mining, while keeping the regulatory environment competitive and attractive to investors.

“We know that the original code was extremely competitive. We’re seeking to re-establish a better balance while keeping within the regulatory standards and norms of our neighbouring countries,” she said.

The Congolese government has proposed tripling copper royalties to 6 percent from 2 percent but Bashizi told Reuters that this was also under discussion.