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Political unrest may not damage DRC mining, says research firm

BMI Research has reported that the current political unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will not affect the growth of the mining industry, which will underpin a 5% increase in real GDP in 2019.

The Central African Copperbelt, on the country’s southern border, was responsible for providing 63% of the world’s cobalt and 10% of the world’s copper in 2016, and access to the region will continue to support Congolese mining projects.

“The large mining sector will act as a bright spot for DRC, especially copper and cobalt production, with several large projects coming online in 2018 and 2019,” said BMI Research in the report.

Exploration and development company Nzuri Copper’s Kalongwe project aims to tap into around 302,000t of copper and 42,000t of cobalt in the north-western portion of the Copperbelt, which secured the company a A$10m investment from Chinese supplier Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, the world’s largest cobalt chemicals producer.

Similarly the Kipushi Project, backed by Australian iron ore company Cape Lambert Resources, is predicted to produce an average of 381,000t of zinc concentrate over an 11-year period.

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