Simon Tuma Waku“I am very pleased by the commitment from mining companies to maintain the same level of production than last year”

Interview with Mr Simon Tuma Waku, Vice President of the Federation of Enterprises of Congo “CEE”, in charge of the mining sector, and speaker at iPAD DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba and Katanga Mining Week 2015.

1. Can you tell me about a mining project in progress which you are involved and which is stimulating for your organization?
As Vice-President of the Federation of Enterprises of Congo in charge of mines, my primary role is to defend the interests of mining corporations operational in the DRC, but also to fight and contribute to the improvement of the business climate in the DRC, doing this we can attract more investment in the mining sector and make this sector the real engine of the revival of the Congolese economy.

2. In your opinion what are the challenges that the mining sector in the region is facing?
The DRC’s mining sector has emerged in recent years, due to significant investments that have now begun to show results. We should however note that since the beginning of the year this has slowed down mainly due to the falling prices of metal. Another cause of this stagnation is the lack of power supply which every month becomes a bigger issue as well as the drought that occurred in Zambia as an internal cause.

3. What has surprised you most in the mining sector during this year?
Despite falling prices of metals and the important lack of energy, I am pleasantly surprised by the resolve of mining companies to maintain production more or less equivalent to that of last year regarding copper and cobalt, but the biggest surprise comes from the side of the gold production which already shows an increase of roughly 30% over the last year, in the corresponding period.

4. What would be your advice for potential investors in the mining sector?
Despite falling prices of metals, despite the lack of energy, the potential of the DRC is still intact and mining remains, and will remain attractive, despite its small changes planned. So I advise investors, who are in search of good mining projects, not to hesitate invest in the DRC.

5. What will be your message to the iPAD DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba?
My message to IPAD DRC will be the same as the advice I have given to potential investors still reluctant to come to the DRC, is to just take advantage of this period of low economic activity to come and invest in the DRC.

6. What will be your message to Katanga Mining Week?
My message for Katanga Mining Week will be that the prices of metals are a parameter we do not control completely. However the lack of energy supply in DRC is a parameter that depends on us, Congolese and those who chose the DRC as their homeland; therefore we will all put our efforts together to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.

7. What is the significance of these events on the mining schedule of the DRC?
IPAD DRC Mining and Infrastructure Indaba and Katanga Mining Week, are two key events for the promotion of the mining sector of the DRC. These two annual events attract more and more investors, not to be missed for those who want to know the reality of the mining sector of the DRC, but also to see with their own eyes the great progress that the DRC is doing in the field of infrastructure and to achieve its reemergence by 2030.