DRC deputy
mines minister
Victor Kasongo
 
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 30 December 2008 – The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has completed its much-delayed review of mining contracts with a total of 61 foreign and local mining companies, but the results have not been satisfactory in all cases.

In making this announcement, however, deputy mines minister Victor Kasongo told Reuters that some major mining firms –among them Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Incorporated, the world’s largest publicly-traded copper producer – have walked away from renegotiation talks.

“The review is over for everyone but the six companies that walked away from talks,” said Kasongo. “First Quantum, Banro, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields and Mwana Africa were the other companies to quit the discussions,” he added.

The mineral-rich central African nation began the review process early last year, aiming to overhaul 61 deals, most of which were agreed during the chaos of a 1998-2003 war. “We are now worried about the remaining six contracts, which involve a huge chunk of our resources,” Kasongo explained.

“We want them to sit at the table and finish this thing,” he said, “it is not the intention of the government to cancel them.”