JOHANNESBURG (miningweeekly.com) – Major mining companies operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remain hopeful that meaningful changes can still be made to the 2018 Mining Code.
The DRC commission established to draft the regulations to effect the mining code has officially completed its work.
The commission will now report back to the Minister of Mines, who will then work with the inter-Ministerial commission ahead of presenting it to government for approval, said members of the DRC mining industry – representing more than 85% of DRC’s copper, cobalt and gold production and significant development projects.
The industry representatives, including miners Randgold Resources, Glencore, Ivanhoe Mines, Gold Mountain International/Zijin Mining Group, MMG, Crystal River Global and China Molybdenum, as well as AngloGold Ashanti, participated actively in the process and influenced a number of the regulations arising from the code.
However, because the commission’s terms of reference were restricted to the regulations, it could not deal with key issues, notably around the rights vested under the former code, the mining companies stated.
A detailed proposal dealing with these key issues was submitted to the Minister of Mines by the industry in March.
The industry is still awaiting a formal response to this proposal, which assumed the honouring of these rights and offered a sliding scale on royalties, allowing the government to benefit from rising commodity prices.
The industry representatives said they would continue to engage with government at all levels, as well as with influential organisation Civil Society – a member of the Mining Code revision tripartite group.
The industry representatives believe flaws in the current provisions of the new code would immediately cause numerous practical and legal problems, which would have a negative impact on the development of the DRC’s mining industry, as well as the country’s long-term economic prospects.