The mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is at a crossroads. Its future is uncertain. However, if both government and investors/mining operators can reach a consensus on the way forward in terms of the new Mining Code and the required compliance, its future will be bright and prosperous.

Issues surrounding the country’s Mining Code are currently being negotiated as the country’s major players meet with government to rectify confusion and allowances around new legislative requirements in the Mining Code.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa, Edition 4 2018

This will help open up the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) plentiful copper and cobalt reserves in addition to its other commodities.

“The new Mining Code was a long time coming, as the previous law dated back to 2002 – which incorporated a clause protecting miners for 10 years in the event of legislation changes, explains Emmanuelle Nicholls, portfolio director: extractive industries & agriculture at Spintelligent.

Spintelligent organises the annual DRC Mining Week conference and exhibition and has been highlighted as a ‘must attend’ event for all mining companies, government, investors, equipment suppliers and other key stakeholders looking to establish or build a mining-related business in the DRC.

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) states the sustained growth in copper and cobalt demand is expected to continue as copper is essential to global economic activity and even more so to the modern technological society.

“The government has designated the metal as a strategic substance and therefore increased royalties on the metal from 2% to 3.5% in order to help the country benefit from one the country’s most well endowed minerals,”says Nicholls.

“In the global race to secure raw materials which are essential for batteries that will power electric vehicles of the future and their importance in this emerging world of technology, I do believe a quasi-equitable distribution of profits and benefits of these minerals between the government, communities and investors is necessary for a healthy mining industry in any country,” continues Jean-Tite Oloumoussie, business development manager & exhibition director: natural resources portfolio at Spintelligent.

This will not only create jobs and develop communities, but it can also give an important place for investors to be part of the industrial development process while their investment is protected.

This will not only create jobs and develop communities, but it can also give an important place for investors to be part of the industrial development process while their return on investment is protected.

The DRC mining industry will most definitely benefit from this demand as the DRC accounts for about two-thirds of global cobalt supply.

“Hopefully the new regulations would help the country to benefits from this resource wealth.”

The negotiation of the mining regulations, which are expected to address the concerns raised by the international investors in the DRC, coupled with the principles of good governance: accountability, transparency, participation and inclusion, should assist the country to benefit from its natural resources and the industry to play a major role to the country economic growth.

All of these topics will form part of the programme and panel discussions at DRC Mining Week that will be held in Lubumbashi from 13 – 15 June 2018.

On topic, on trend – DRC Mining Week keeps growing

During its first edition 13 years ago DRC Mining Week, formally iPAD DRC Mining & Infrastructure Indaba and Katanga Mining Week, had only one main mining operator as part of the event (First Quantum Minerals) and 15 exhibitors comprising mostly local companies.

“Now DRC Mining Week has grown exponentially to more than 130 exhibitors last year with the participation of more than seven major mining operators including Tenke Fungurume, Invanhoe Mines, Randgold Resources, MMG, Kamoto Copper Company (First Quantum Minerals), ERG Africa and Banro Corporation,” highlights Nicholls.

“This year we anticipate more than 3 500 local and international delegates and visitors, 180 exhibitors and sponsors, representation of 40 countries, three country pavilions and over 2 500 meetings scheduled through our online B2B matchmaking platform.”

DRC Mining Week will always be THE platform where all DRC mining shareholders can network, exchange and discuss about the future of this vibrant mining industry. It will always be THE event where investors, exploration companies, buyers and mining solutions providers can meet – and most importantly DRC Mining Week will always focus on promoting foreign investment within the DRC’s mining sector,” says Oloumoussie.

“DRC Mining Week has positioned itself to be a catalyst of business and sector development that will grow in tandem with the country’s mining industry.”

You can read the full digital magazine here or subscribe here to receive a print copy