DRC diamonds –
hopefully the industry
will be back on
track soon
 
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 June 2008 – DRC’s state diamond miner MIBA is close to signing a US$140 million (R1.1 billion) loan deal with South African state lenders to re-build its infrastructure and re-start industrial mining operations.
 
Quoting this statement from a senior company official, Reuters pointed out, however, that the troubled company still needed at least another US$150 million (R1.2 billion) in additional funding to rehabilitate dilapidated hydro-electric plants as power sources to underpin large-scale mining production.

MIBA (Societe Miniere de Bakwanga) is 20% owned by Africa-focused miner Mwana Africa plc. Along with much of the mining industry in the vast former Belgian colony, the company is still recovering from decades of war, looting, corruption and mismanagement.

Chief administrative officer Paul Kabongo told Reuters MIBA was in final loan negotiations with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, (DBSA), both South African state entities.

“We think we can finalise this within the next two months,” he said. The loan package is expected to include US$120 million (R960 million) to help MIBA restart industrial mining activities, with the option of an additional US$20 (R160) million in standby funds.

Kabongo added that the company was hoping to secure another US$30 million (R240 million) to cover running costs. He said MIBA was currently turning out around 100 000 carats per month, and he believed monthly production could soon hit 200 000 carats.