Chinese Mining Deals Under Review as Congo Targets Windfall Profits – by David Malingha (Bloomberg News – Novemeber 22, 2022)

(Bloomberg) — The Democratic Republic of Congo wants a mining deal it signed with China more than a decade ago to be reworked, with a view to securing all the funding that was pledged for infrastructure projects and a share of windfall profits.

A review of the 2008 minerals-for-infrastructure contract that includes the Sicomines copper-cobalt mining project should ideally be concluded by year-end, Congolese Prime Minister Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde said in an interview in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, during the COP27 climate summit. Additional payments were warranted because the project was making super-profits due to a surge in commodity prices, he said.

Sicomines produced 155,630 tons of copper and 886 tons of cobalt in 2020, government data show. China has spent about $900 million on infrastructure so far, well short of what was required in the agreement, according to Lukonde.

“When we look at the balance, it looks like they have taken more minerals than what has been built in terms of infrastructure,” he said. “We have to quickly point out some new projects on our side in terms of infrastructure so that that balance can be reduced.”

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