GLENCORE CEO, Ivan Glasenberg met with Felix Tshisekedi, the newly elected president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on February 25, said Bloomberg New citing three people familiar with the matter.
The newswire’s sources didn’t say what the meeting was specifically about. Glencore declined to comment. The DRC government hadn’t responded to Bloomberg News.
The meeting with Glasenberg follows a meeting between Barrick Gold CEO, Mark Bristow, and the president’s chief of staff and other officials on January 29. The two meetings are among the first engagements with the new administration in the DRC since Tshisekedi was named the surprise winner of national elections in January.
The relationship between mining firms the DRC have been strained whilst under the control of the previous administration of President Joseph Kabila. The DRC last year promulgated a new mining code which ignored stabilisation clauses in the previous version – a development that exposes mining firms to higher royalties on metals produced, including cobalt and copper.
“We hopefully will be negotiating with the new government,” Glasenberg told analysts on February 20. “We don’t accept the way they have changed the mining code right now,” he said.
Glencore announced last week it had written down the value of its Mutanda operations in the DRC by $600m, blaming the larger tax burden. The new mining law has reduced “… the probability of approving the development of new facilities to treat the sulphide reserves” at Mutanda, Glencore said in its 2018 earnings report.