Congo Plans to Reintroduce Proposals to Overhaul Mining Codeby
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s government plans to reintroduce proposed changes to the country’s mining code next week, the mines ministry said.
The ministry is preparing legislation that will be presented to legislators, Joel Adelard Ngoy Kasongo, an adviser at the Mines Ministry, said by phone Friday from the capital, Kinshasa.
“I am waiting for the invitation from the National Assembly next week,” Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said by text message.
A draft of a revised mining code that increased taxes and royalties for companies was approved by legislators in March 2015 and then dropped because of a decline in metal prices and industry opposition. The proposal included increasing profit taxes to 35 percent from 30 percent, the government’s free share of new mining projects to 10 percent from 5 percent, and royalties on copper and cobalt to 3.5 percent from 2 percent.
Neither Kabwelulu nor Kasongo said whether the new changes would be exactly the same as the earlier proposal.
Congo is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt, which is used to make rechargeable batteries.