“Gold mining is one of the fastest growing sectors with two big projects, Kibali in Province Orientale and Banro in South-Kivu and Maniema.”
Exclusive interview with John Kanyoni, Managing Director of Metachem Sarl and Vice President of the Chamber of Mines, FEC, DRC. Mr Kanyoni and speaker at the upcoming iPAD DRC Mining & Infrastructure Indaba in Kinshasa.
Let’s start with some background on you. Please tell us more about your function at the Chamber of Mines. Also, tell us more about your company Metachem Sarl and its activities.
I have studied Commercial Law,, a former Member of the DRC Parliament, with more than 16 years in the mining sector.
My company Metachem Sarl is one of the leading Trading Company in tin and tantalite with offices in North-Kivu, South-Kivu and Maniema.
As the Vice President of the Chamber of Mines, I am involved in various initiatives on Due Diligence and Certification in order to formalized the 3 T sectors (Tin, Tantalite and Tungsten) including OECD and ICGLR.
I am also part of the team reviewing the new mining code.
How important is iPAD DRC Kinshasa on the mining calendar of DRC?
iPAD Kinshasa is an important forum for mining companies in DRC for many reasons:
- To show/ evaluate how the mining industry contributes to the growth (GDP) of our economy
- To evaluate the results achieved in the sector for the last period
- It is a good opportunity for potential investors to meet with the decisions makers in the mining sector in DRC, i.e.: Government representatives, the private sector.
- It is also a forum where discussions can be held on the challenges encountered in the mining sector such as the lack of energy, lack of infrastructures and to also discuss on how we should address those challenges in order to allow the mining industry to grow.
What projects of the Chamber of Mines are you currently most excited about?
Looking ahead, ongoing investments in a new legal environment, better policies which will bring a more conducive environment business in our sector (i.e. new mining code, stability clause) should support the growth in the sector in DRC and increase Foreign Direct Investment;
We are also excited to look at the new EITI report of 2012 which will be complying with the EITI Standard with a summary of the legal framework and fiscal regime, the contribution of the mining sector to the economy, the production data, State participation in the mining companies, the contextual information on licenses and contract, the beneficial ownership of mining companies, the revenue allocation of taxes collected from mining companies.
This innovation of the EITI Standard will enhance not only transparency and accountability in the mining but will also give opportunity to citizen of DR CONGO to know the contribution of mining sector to the socio-economic development of our country.
What are the main challenges would you say for the mining industry in the DRC?
The major challenge the mining industry is facing relates to the lack of energy and infrastructure, there are numerous problems affecting the smooth flow of goods; despite these challenges, DRC was able to be the biggest producer of copper last year with more than 800.000 metric tons!
You are chairing a session on Gold Mining in DRC at iPAD, can you give us some background on this sector of mining?
The Gold Mining is one of the fastest growing sectors with two big projects as Kibali in Province Orientale and Banro in South-Kivu and Maniema.
Kibali is considered as one of the success story with an ambition of producing 15 MT next year….
What are the investment opportunities in gold mining and production?
The outlook for future remains positive as there are many opportunities in the gold sector as earlier mentioned the two success stories of Kibali in province Orientale and Banro (Twangiza) in South-Kivu and Maniema (Namoya) ; if we compare to last year for the same period the production increased to 197,6%; Please refer to latest report posted on the website of Chamber of Mines which (www.chambredesmines-rdc.com).
There is also a big potential in artisanal mines in gold, the production of only South-Kivu artisanal gold could be in the range of 450 kgs per month but there is also a need to formalize the artisanal miners in order to have more accurate figures, the same potential is also huge in Province Orientale and Kibali investment has showed that D.R.CONGO could be in forthcoming years, one of the major player in the Gold Industry worldwide.
What surprises you about the mining industry in DRC?
The remarkable performance of the mining industry in DRC, if we look at the last year figures of copper; the production was of 985 764 metric tons and in our first quarter Chamber of Mines report of 2014 we reached a volume of 1 001,532 metric tons DRC was number one in Africa after a leading period by Zambia, we still play a big role in cobalt with 58 843 metric tons for 2013 and the current 62 094 metric tons, the figures of industrial gold raised up to date in our quarter report up to 16658 kgs, tin and tantalite are increasing although it is mainly artisanal for the two last one, the investment in gold has showed that this sector is booming and we are confident that we can do more in the forthcoming years prevailing that we have conducive legal environment with the adoption of the new mining code which should cater for fiscal incentives , we solve the issue of energy which is key in expanding ongoing projects.
The upside shows in our quarter report that there is an increase compare to last year of 13.3% for copper, 5.5% for cobalt, 160% for gold and a decrease for diamond of 17.3%.
What will be your message at iPAD DRC this year?
The message of the Chamber of Mines will be mainly based on the mining code which might secure investment, how to address issues related to the lack of energy and infrastructure to allow DRC to play the role of one of the leading country in the mining sector in Africa.
What are you most looking forward to at the event?
As partners of the Government in economic and social development, how we can address together issues which are not allowing the mining to grow at its real capacity, the potential is huge but not as such exploited to the benefice of DRC and also of those who invested in the mining.
Anything you would like to add?
The mining sector made a significant contribution to the DR Congo’s industrial performance as well as to overall economic growth, it has to be said, that the mining sector is the largest sub sector contributing to the high growth of our country GDP.
; and if DRCONGO has an ambition of having a two digit number in term of growth, it will be mainly on the account of the growth in the mining industry and the most we have a new mining code which is protecting investment there is more chance also to have new players to boost more the economy of DRCONGO