Miners to negotiate regulations as DRC’s Kabila unmoved on law

Joseph Kabila, president, DRC

MINING companies operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including Randgold Resources and Glencore, agreed with the government to negotiate the mining regulations related to Mining Code changes adopted by parliament.

This follows a meeting on March 7 between DRC president, Joseph Kabila, and a group of mining firms, which also included Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines, to discuss a Mining Code change contained in a bill that was waiting on the presidential signature.

The code will see royalties on cobalt, a vital component in electric car batteries, increase five-fold to 10%. It would also remove a stability clause in the current law protecting miners from changes to the fiscal and customs regime for 10 years – developments against which mining firms protested as it would discourage investment, miners argued.

In a statment today, Randgold Resources said the bill would be promulgated soon. Said Randgold: “The representatives of the mining industry raised questions pertaining to their operations. The president gave assurances that the questions raised will be resolved through discussions with the government, in the mining regulation to be adopted by the government”.

“After a constructive debate, the mining operators agreed to continue discussions with the Government on issues existing in the current agreement once the new mining code has been signed into law,” it said.

Mark Bristow, CEO of Randgold, said the company would “… start its engagement with the government representatives next week”.