Kinshasa, DRC — MININGREVIEW.COM — 01 October 2008 – Re-negotiation of the 61 mining contracts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will not be affected by the resignation of the country’s Prime Minister Antoine Gizenga.
This has been confirmed by Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News from the DRC capital. “The prime minister has asked that everything carries on,” Kabwelulu said.
The agency reports that the DRC – which has a third of the world’s cobalt and 4% of all copper – is seeking to boost revenue from mining more in the government’s favour by improving the terms of contracts with mining companies. The government is reviewing 61 deals, including those with Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. – the world’s largest publicly-traded copper producer, and AngloGold Ashanti – Africa’s biggest gold miner.
The outcome of the discussions is unlikely to be affected, according to Philippe de Pontet, a DRC analyst for the Washington-based Eurasia Group. “The major decisions are made by Kabila’s office, his top advisers and Deputy Minister of Mines Victor Kasongo,” he said, “ and all these officials are likely to stay in their places.”
The Alliance for the Presidential Majority announced yesterday that the DRC’s ruling coalition would remain intact and form a new government following the Prime Minister’s resignation.
“The new prime minister will come from the majority coalition,” executive secretary of the alliance Koyagialo Gbase te Gerengbo said in an interview broadcast on Kinshasa-based Radio Okapi. “This coalition still exists.”
Bloomberg reports that Gizenga resigned last week citing old age. Talks are continuing on who will succeed the 82-year-old leader.