DAKAR, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Mining companies in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Monday that proposed changes to the mining code adopted by the lower house of parliament last week would do lasting damage to investment in Africa’s top copper producer.
The process of revising the 2002 mining code in Congo has dragged on for over five years but the National Assembly on Friday approved a bill that would increase taxes and royalties and sent it to the upper house Senate for a second vote.
The measure would also increase the state’s minimum unpaid share of new mining projects and require that Congolese investors hold at least 10 percent of shares in large-scale mines.
In a statement, several of Congo’s largest copper and gold mines, including projects operated by Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore and London-listed Randgold Resources , said investors would look elsewhere if the code were approved by the Senate and signed into law by the president.
“This very heart of the DRC’s economy is now seriously threatened while it should be protected, supervised and strengthened,” the statement said.
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