Congo drops mining code revision in face of industry pressure (Reuters U.S. – February 10, 2016)

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Feb 10 Democratic Republic of Congo has dropped plans to revise its mining code to boost government revenues, the country’s mines minister said on Wednesday, bowing to fierce industry pressure amid steep commodity price drops.

The government of Africa’s leading copper producer initiated the review of the country’s 2002 mining code in 2012, but mining companies objected strenuously to proposed tax and royalty increases, which they said would chase off new investment.

Mines minister Martin Kabwelulu told delegates at an annual mining conference in Cape Town that the government would not change the code, assuring investors that their money was safe.

“At this point, it should be noted that … the government has opted to maintain the application of the mining code and its provisions currently in place,” a slideshow presented by Kabwelulu stated.

Congo’s chamber of mines president Simon Tuma-Waku said in a statement that the government “recognised that a more onerous code would drive investors away from what was already a stressed market.”

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