I have spent the last month getting to grips with what it takes to develop and/or run a successful mining operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In short, the country offers some of the finest and wealthiest ore bodies (copper and gold in particular) in the world but in return for the riches it delivers demands absolute unwavering commitment to overcome ‘un-ignorable’ challenges that stand between you and your mine.

A mining colleague and friend recently told me that he is confident that the African continent will be a very different place in the next 10 or 20 years. And should this be the case (which I’m sure it will), it will largely be thanks to the committed mining companies who are developing their projects in Africa today. The long-term, downstream effects on countries as a whole will grow steadily as a result of the industry’s actions and help redefine their economic position – and the DRC is a perfect example.

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MRA issue 9, 2014