The DRC is looking to attract “modern investors” to develop its $24 trillion of untapped mineral deposits in partnership with Congolese companies, the leader of its private sector regulatory body told the mining industry at the 30th annual Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa.
Miguel Kashal Katemb, the Director General of the Regulatory Authority for Subcontracting in the Private Sector (ARSP) said the DRC is open to all investors, and they are looking to partner with investors who can support the country’s economic development.
Katemb noted that future investment in the DRC can be a “win-win” for both investors and the Congolese people. The country is widely considered to be the richest in the world going by its natural resources, including mineral deposits (cobalt, copper, tin, tungsten and tantalum), great hydroelectric potential, vast arable land, tremendous biodiversity, and the second largest tropical forest.
DRC’s top five exports are refined copper and unwrought alloys, cobalt, unrefined copper, copper ores or concentrates, and crude oil.
ARSP connects mining investors with Congolese partners who provide market access and resources in exchange for ensuring the Congolese participate in the mining value chain. It said supports President Félix Antoine Tshisekedi’s pledge to deliver more jobs and promote entrepreneurship.
The Regulatory Authority was created by Presidential Decree No. 18/019 to regulates subcontracting activities in the private sector.
It enables inward investment across all sectors of the economy by connecting investors with Congolese partners, aiming to create a Congolese middle class by ensuring that Congolese companies benefit from investment in the country
In recent regulations, 51% of secondary activities, or sub-contracts, in the mining industry must be held by Congolese companies – an effort to ensure the benefits of the country’s vast mineral wealth are shared by all.
“We have many big investors in the DRC already, but we need modern investors. We are looking for investors who can help to build a new world for the Congolese people, where the social and economic benefits of investments are shared widely,” Katemb said.
Citing Canadian mining giant Ivanhoe Mines as a prime example of a “modern investor” that the DRC is looking to partner with, Katemb noted that there would be “cake for everyone” in the future development of the country’s vast mining resources.
DRC is Africa’s largest producer of copper and the world’s largest producer of cobalt, a strategic metal used in battery manufacture but despite its vaunted wealth, the country remains one of the poorest and least developed in the world, mired in armed conflict in the eastern part of the country for a quarter century.