DRC Always and forever evolving
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen – Mining Review Africa is proud to present our third edition of 2021. Here’s what you can expect from this issue: A ‘killer’ DRC edition that ranges from finance and investment, through projects at the forefront of excellence, to on-trend topics such as the evolution of the artisanal mining sector and the steps being undertaken to formalise it. All as the global world looks to the DRC for responsibly sourced cobalt for the EV boom.
But wait – there’s more. You will also find the latest on commodity pricing and forecasting for base metals and a very in-depth analysis of the mining industry’s relationship with water.
I’m taking the opportunity now however to explore the DRC in a little more depth: this country is undeniably in the spotlight – again – and this time for two reasons.
The first reason follows a cabinet reshuffle and the appointment of a new, female mining minister – Madame Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi. Known as a civil society activist, and a French novelist on the topic, little else is known about her. Could a woman bring a different style to working with the local industry? What are her political views on the mining industry at large and will she bring stability to the sector? What will her views be on the Mining Code? The industry will be looking to their new minister for guidance, let’s hope she is ready.
The second reason, which is of particular interest to me, is the DRC’s formalisation of the artisanal mining sector. I wrote about this last year when Chemaf and Trafigura aligned to do just this at the Mutoshi mine site. More than a year down the line, the project has been successful, lessons have been learnt and a government-owned organisation called Entreprise Générale Cobalt (EGC) has been established to oversee the expansion of the initiative that was effectively introduced at Mutoshi.
Why is this so important? The world needs cobalt to drive its green economy ambitions and this metal holds one of the vital keys to achieving this. The DRC is home to the largest cobalt resources, of significant grade, and security of supply from electric vehicle manufacturers for example has become key. But, and this is a big but, the global world wants responsibly sourced cobalt. The DRC has responded – positively. Let’s hope EGC delivers on this front. It would be fantastic if the country – recognised as being extremely difficult to operate in – could show the rest of Africa what is truly possible.
Madame Antoinette N’Samba Kalambayi, Entreprise Générale du Cobalt – it’s time to step up to the plate!