Kinshasa, DRC — 15 July 2013 – The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which has some of the world’s richest metal deposits, has delayed a ban on the export of copper and cobalt concentrate until next year.
The ban, which had been scheduled to start this month, is supposed to compel mining companies to process metals and minerals in the DRC, reports Bloomberg News. Miners had complained that the country doesn’t generate adequate electricity to process all of its minerals and had asked for a delay.
“The moratorium is until Dec. 31, 2013,” said mines minister Martin Kabwelulu in a mobile phone text message, without providing further details.
The DRC was the world’s eighth-largest producer of copper and the biggest producer of cobalt last year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Power shortages have forced some miners to install generators or buy electricity from neighbouring Zambia to run processing plants.
Glencore International plc, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Incorporated, and Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC) were the country’s largest miners in 2012, responsible for 58% of copper production and 56% of cobalt output, according to mines ministry statistics.
The mines ministry previously banned the export of concentrated minerals in April 2010. That same month, Katangan governor Moise Katumbi allowed mining companies to continue exporting concentrated minerals if they paid a tax of US$60/t.
Source: Bloomberg news. For more information, click here.