DRC to up mining project levies: minister

[miningmx.com] — DEMOCRATIC Republic of Congo will change its mining code to increase tax rates and raise the government’s minimum automatic stake in mining projects, the mines minister said on Wednesday.

Martin Kabwelulu said the current mining code, which is 10 years old, was not giving the government enough revenues from the mining sector.

“We must increase receipts… all the African countries are in agreement that we can change our mining codes, because 10 years later we haven’t seen the necessary resources,” he told reporters on the margins of a mining conference.

“We’re in the process of composing the text (for the new code) and we’re going to present it to the new parliament.”

Kabwelulu said the government would look to increase the 5% stake it gets when mining ventures start producing, without giving exact details.

He said the government received around $100m in receipts from mining in 2011.

“We’re going to change this (five percent stake) rate, it will be higher,” he said, noting transition measures would be needed to introduce any new measures gradually.

He added the new mining code would insist on fewer raw minerals leaving the country for processing and a greater emphasis on local manufacturing.

Kabwelulu rejected the common argument that more onerous charges on the sector would hurt investment.

“African countries will be starting from a position of strength. Global needs are enormous, they (investors) will be obliged to buy, and if not we’ll keep our minerals, no problem. We’re going to do our code and those who want to buy can buy.”