Kinshasa — Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) state mining company blamed international investors and anticorruption activists for the country’s lack of progress despite its vast mineral wealth.
Nongovernmental organisations including the Atlanta-based Carter Center and London-based Global Witness have accused Gecamines of failing to account for hundreds of millions of dollars paid to the state miner by the companies exporting copper and cobalt from the Central African nation.
Gecamines president Albert Yuma launched a report late Wednesday, rebutting the allegations and asserting that foreign producers are responsible for the industry’s meager contribution to national development. He pledged to renegotiate existing partnerships with foreign mining investors. Major miners active in DRC include Glencore and China Molybdenum.
“The sole objective” behind the allegations of mismanagement at Gecamines “is the destabilisation of the DRC to serve unhindered, in the name of pseudo-democratic ideals, foreign demand” for the country’s mineral riches, Yuma said.
DRC is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt. The Carter Center said last November that almost $750m of royalties, signing bonuses and asset-sale proceeds due to Gecamines from deals with joint venture partners between 2011 and 2014 couldn’t be reliably tracked to the company’s accounts.