BARRICK Gold said its Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) gold mine, Kibali, which it owns in joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti, was on course for production of 750,000 ounces in the current financial year.
However, Barrick CEO, Mark Bristow, continued to express concern about the newly promulgated DRC mining code which he said would put investment in the country “at risk”. The code, which was signed into law by former DRC president, Joseph Kabila, just over a year ago, removes a clause that protected miners from changes to the fiscal and customs regime for 10 years.
Bristow said the property on which Kibali had been developed, the Moto project, was purchased 10 years ago at a time when the DRC did not offer any government incentives.
“We invested in the DRC without any incentives provided by the government, only a clear and equitable mining code,” said Bristow in a statement. “Last year, however, the then government unilaterally imposed a new code which we believe puts the Congolese mining industry at risk and could discourage future investment.
However, Bristow said he was “encouraged” by comments made by new president, Felix Tshisekedi, in which he spoke about attracting new investment which was followed by a meeting with Barrick’s chairman, John Thornton.