Downtown Kinshasa,
capital of the DRC
 
Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 16 October 2008 – Results of the long-awaited review of mining contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will not be announced before the new government to be formed by the prime minister takes charge of the dossier.

Reuters reports from the capital that newly appointed Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito is due to form a new cabinet in the next few days, and that this is likely to mean a further delay to the contracts review that was scheduled to end today.

“When the government is appointed, and takes control of the review, we’ll announce the results,” he insisted. “The government will receive the negotiations from the last weeks, and a final decision will have to be made by the minister,” He gave no indication of timing.

The mines contract review – which started last year – covers 61 contracts signed with mining companies including such majors as Freeport-McMoRan and AngloGold Ashanti Originally the government had said the process would finish on 30 September, but it then announced an extension until today.  

Reuters reports that under the mines review, some companies which signed deals in the copper, tin and cobalt-rich central African country may have to cede much greater ownership to state miner Gecamines. Firms whose contracts are not approved under the review will be able to renegotiate terms with the government.

Of the 61 contracts, 14 are classed as “green,” meaning acceptable, 26 are “orange,” which means that agreement is required on some points, and 21 are “red,” which means they face cancellation.