Randgold Resources says it is engaging at the highest level with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to head off the enactment of a new mining code which the company believes will severely limit the growth of the mining industry in the DRC and the country’s economic prospects.
On the sidelines of the 2018 Mining Indaba in Cape Town, Randgold Chief executive, Mark Bristow said:”since the new code surfaced in draft form in 2014 the mining industry had made detailed and repeated representations to the Congolese Ministry of Mines about what it regarded as very serious flaws in its provisions”.
The new code was recently passed by both houses of parliament but still has to be signed by the president before it becomes law. A version passed by the National Assembly – Congo’s lower house of parliament – last month would increase taxes and royalties, including potentially more than doubling royalties on cobalt, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries.
Randgold state that, among other things, the new code will temper with the 10-year stability clause enshrined in the 2002 code, which was the basis on which Randgold and other mining companies invested in the DRC.
“In fact, when Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti bought the project which became the Kibali mine, we sought and received a formal written declaration from the DRC government which entrenches our rights under the 2002 code and confirms that the law would be honoured in respect not only of Kibali but also any permit renewals,” Bristow said.
“It is our express wish that the government grasps the serious consequences this ill-considered code will have on its ability as a country to attract international investment and re-investment to the DRC, and to refer the code back to the ministry of mines for further consultation with the industry. If this fails, however, we shall seek to enforce our rights including those which provide for international arbitration.”