Congo mines minister tight-lipped on Kabila’s signing of code changes

Joseph Kabila, president, DRC

THERE was uncertainty as to whether Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), had signed mining regulation changes into law, said Reuters.

The news agency drew a blank when attempting to extract a response from the DRC’s mines minister, Martin Kabwelulu, who declined to comment on whether Kabila had promulgated the mining codes alterations which raises royalties and taxes. The mining code changes require only Kabila’s signature in order to take effect.

“Journalists ask me whether the president has promulgated the code. I won’t answer that question here. The code is with the president,” Kabwelulu told reporters and mining executives at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town.

The new code, which parliament approved late last month, could see royalties on cobalt, a vital component in electric car batteries, increase five-fold to 10%, said Reuters. It also removes a clause in the current law protecting miners from changes to the fiscal and customs regime for 10 years, the news agency said.