Miners including Glencore and Randgold have teamed together to fight new legislation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that looks set to raise mining costs.
A new legal code approved by the country´s politicians on 27 January gives a greater share of mining revenue to the state while raising the costs for the likes of Glencore and Randgold of doing business in the country.
The group of mining firms, which also consists of Ivanhoe Mines, MMG, Zijin Mining Group, China Molybdenum and Anglogold Ashanti, has sent a letter to Congolese President Joseph Kabila asking him to have a rethink on the law and give them an opportunity to put forward their arguments against it.
DRC is Africa´s biggest producer of copper, while also playing a significant role in global production of cobalt, diamonds, tantalum, tin, and gold.
The miners are also looking to replace the country´s current private sector lobby group, the Chamber of Mines, as they are disappointed in the way it has represented their positions on the new Mining code.
“Watching people shoot themselves in the head, not even in the foot, is frustrating for me. The mining environment in the DRC needs to be improved, but improved in consultation with the main investors, which are China Molybdenum, Glencore and ourselves,” said Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold.
Glencore and Randgold, along with the other major miners in the country, appear to be facing a difficult battle to get the country´s authorities to change their course.
“It is a pity that these companies are making a move outside FEC's Chamber of Mines. The body has participated in discussions with all stakeholders since 2012,” said DRC mines minister Martin Kabwelulu.