The Democratic Republic Congo’s government intention to reform the country’s 2002 Mining Code stirred a hornet’s nest: had caused discomfort amongst mining companies, braving effects of the commodities slump up in arms. Thankfully, for them, there is some measure of reprieve, following the decision to put the move on ice.
The DRC Mines Minister, Martin Kabwelu, has announced that the government has suspended consideration of a reform to the mining code. Meanwhile, 42 civil society organisations still insist the government needs to pursue the changes, which mainly focus on increasing revenue and tightening environmental regulations.
Civil society organisations believe mining companies oppose the move because of fear that they might lose their tax benefits.
The struggle for DR Congo’s vast mineral resources has brought political instability. In the eastern part of the country, foreign-sponsored rebels groups have been fighting the government for control for areas rich in valuable mineral ore.