A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said.
The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa.
“It is the same draft,” he said.
A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved by the government in March 2015 and introduced to parliament, but never debated. Planned changes include:
- Increasing profit taxes to 35 percent from 30 percent
- Raising the government’s free share of new mining projects to 10 percent from 5 percent
- Lifting royalties on copper and cobalt to 3.5 percent from 2 percent.
Congo is Africa’s biggest copper producer and the world’s largest source of cobalt. Baar-based Glencore Plc, London-listed Randgold Resources Ltd. and China Molybdenum Co. all have mining projects in the country.
The chamber of mines at the Federation des Entreprises du Congo, the country’s biggest industry group, opposed the revisions when they were submitted to parliament in 2015. “It would spell disaster for both the copper and gold-mining sectors,” the FEC said at the time in a position paper on the new code.