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01 October 2007
Delays to Congo's review of mining concessions is holding up project development. But in the long term, more transparency and the potential economic and political stability spawned by profits from Congo's mining sector should make for a more bankable project market. By Marcus Bensasson
Total economic rebuild is expected of the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) mining sector. A period of relative stability has followed the end, in 2003, of the country's war, and the opportunity to rebuild the economy has coincided with a global shortfall in copper supply.
DRC was the world's largest copper producer in the 1960s and while the country's reserves are smaller than those found in South American mining countries, the copper is of much higher grade and less capital intensive to extract – a lucrative source for developers willing to take on the significant country risk.
Work on reindustrialising Katanga Province, the south-east region where the country's copper and cobalt deposits are located, has been underway in earnest since Anvil Mining led the way with the Dikulushi mine in 2002. And four major projects in the market now – KOV, Tenke Fungurume, Kolwezi Tailings and Kamoto – could increase copper...
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