HomeBase MetalsMajor DRC mining renegotiations grind to a halt

Major DRC mining renegotiations grind to a halt

Ruashi – one of the
bigger copper and
cobalt projects in
the DRC
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 29 October 2008 – Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Incorporated’s mining contract in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of as many as six deals in which the re-negotiation of terms between state-owned and private companies has stalled.

Revealing this in the DRC capital, deputy mines minister Victor Kasongo told Bloomberg News in an interview that the government might take over negotiations with private companies in instances where their dealings with state-owned companies had deadlocked.

“The talks have nearly finished,” he said, adding that the government would make a decision on whether to intervene in negotiations once it received the reports from the companies concerned.

“The government needs to intervene in certain cases,” Kasongo confirmed. “As for the others, we have found an agreement within our terms of reference.”

Freeport’s contracts in the DRC are fair and equitable, they comply with DRC law, and are enforceable without modifications,” company spokesman Williams Collier said.  

Freeport has a 57.8% stake in the US$1.9 billion (almost R20 billion) Tenke Fungurume project, while Lundin Mining Corporation holds 24.75% and the balance is held by the DRC government.

Both Kasongo and mines minister Martin Kabwelulu were retained in newly announced cabinet re-shuffle. “Our re-appointment will bring continuity to mining policy, Kasongo said.