Mining for tin
ore or the DRC
 
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 25 August 2008 – Dealers in tin dioxide ore – known as cassiterite – will resume exports from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today, following settlement of a dispute over raising taxes on the tin ore, bringing to an end a seven-week strike in the country.

This weekend announcement was made by the exporters’ group. The strike is over and from Monday we’ll start exporting,” the president of the Association of Exporters of Minerals in North Kivu, John Kanyoni, told Reuters here.

North Kivu produces most of Congo’s cassiterite, and is also the main export point for ore mined in adjoining South Kivu province. Together the two provinces – gripped for years by violence – account for 80% of the DRC’s tin ore exports.

Reuters reports that North Kivu exporters went on strike in early July when the authorities more than trebled the reference price used to calculate taxes from US4 to US$14. The government then agreed in early August to base the tax on the London Metal Exchange (LME) market price, rather than a fixed rate, and the negotiators have been hammering out details of how to apply it ever since, Kanyoni said.

“The final deal is 5% of the LME quotation, deducting the treatment charge which includes insurance, transport and everything else,” he added. “The treatment charge is roughly US$1 400 per metric tonne.” The tax will be calculated based on contained tin metal in each ore shipment, depending on its purity, he said.

Kanyoni and deputy mines minister Victor Kasongo confirmed to Reuters that the ministers of finance and mines had both signed the decree setting the new tax rate.