The DRC has the world’s largets copper and cobalt reserves as well as vast deposits of diamonds and gold. Since the first democratic elections in 2006, the mining sector has boomed, with investors taking the plunge into this lucrative and previously inaccessible market.

Revision of contracts:

During the many years of civil war and political turmoil in the DRC contracts were drawn up between the state mining concerns and mining majors.  The potential for corruption and lack of transparency as a result of the political instability is why last year, President Joseph Kabila launced a review of 61 mining contracts signed between 1998 and 2003.  A Mines Review Task Force of senior ministers is responsible for this somewhat controversial activity.  With a rich minerals sector forming the backbone of the DRC economy, questions remain as to how the revenue generated by the DRC’s mining activities can benefit the greater population.

Chinese deal:

Another major development in the DRC mining sector is the US$9bn contract signed between the DRC government and the Chinese, and therefore, the strategic role that China now plays in the reconstruction of the DRC.  On the 28th January 2008, China’s Export Import Bank, Exim, pledged finance for major road and rail construction projects in the DRC and for the rehabilitation of its mining sector, badly damaged by years of war, corruption and neglect.  China’s Sinohydro Corporation and China Railway Engineering Corporation have negotiated a deal giving them a 68 percent share in a joint venture, with 32 percent going to state copper mining company Gecamines. The Chinese state companies have been granted rights to two large copper and cobalt concessions representing around 10.62 million tonnes of copper and 620,000 tonnes of cobalt. The DRC produced 500,000 tonnes of copper annually in 1989 at its highest levels of output.

Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development (iPAD) Central Africa:

The 4th Infrastructure Partnerships for African Development (iPAD) CENTRAL AFRICA conference and exhibition takes place from 7-10 October 2008 at the Grand Hotel, Kinshasa, DRC.  iPAD Central Africa is a forum not only for mining stakeholders to make strategic partners and gather accurate information face-to-face, but it is also the only international business-to-business and investment forum in the DRC.

Mining Review Africa and the Federation of Explorers and Extractors will host a pre-conference round-table on Tuesday, 7th October 2008.  The round-table will be a dialogue between the Ministry of Mines – with Mr Martin Kabwelulu, Minister of Mines – and the Mining Cadastre of the DRC and all mining companies operating in the DRC, where issues like the revision of contracts and the Chinese deal will no doubt be covered.

A facilitated question and answer session will take place after the government presentations.  Coverage will also be given to the Extractive Industries’ Transparency Initiative; artisanl vs. industrial mining; focus on the Katanga Province and fiscal issues. This is a must-attend for anyone active in the mining sector in the DRC and a unique opportunity to re-inforce relationships with key stakeholders in the DRC.

A two-day exhibition enables further networking and the possibility to witness the latest products, technologies and services available for business operations in the DRC.

On Friday, 10 October a visit to Inga I and II hydropower plant is offered, whereby delegates will view the maintenance and operations and view the site for Grand Inga, a bold infrastructure initiative with a longterm view to power the whole of Africa.

Register before 15 August to benefit from the Early Bird registration package!

For more information visit www.ipad-africa.com/central or contact Jean-Tite Oloumoussie: jeantite.oloumoussie@spintelligent.com