Congo’s Miners Face Harsh New Reality as Mining Law Finalized – by Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – June 13, 2018)

https://www.bloomberg.com/

The options for mining companies battling new legislation in the Democratic Republic of Congo — Africa’s biggest copper producer and the source of two-thirds of the world’s cobalt — have just about run out.

After six months of lobbying, companies including Glencore Plc and Randgold Resources Ltd. have got nowhere in their battle to push back against the mining law, which voids existing agreements and increases their costs. Congo approved the final part of the bill on Friday, and despite earlier indications from President Joseph Kabila that the rules might be eased, the law hasn’t been weakened in any way.

While the constitution bars Kabila from running for a third term, Congo’s embattled leader has refused to rule himself out as a candidate in elections later this year, and his campaign to wring more revenue out of mining companies is proving popular with voters.

A meeting in March in which chief executives including Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg pleaded their case to Kabila was used by state media to portray the president as a wise power broker standing up for the national interest.

“Something like this, which is quite scary to foreign investors, isn’t going to bother” Kabila, said Hunter Hillcoat, a mining analyst at Investec Securities Ltd. in London.

For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-13/congo-s-miners-face-harsh-new-reality-as-mining-law-finalized

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