Congo expects declaration on strategic metals by end of October

The Democratic Republic of Congo expects to issue a decree identifying strategic metals by the end of October, a government official said.

Congo’s government has said it’s preparing to categorize cobalt and other metals as strategic, imposing a 10 percent royalty tax on producers including Glencore Plc and China Molybdenum Co. The measure, introduced as part of this year’s overhaul of mining laws, will add to other steps being taken by the government to boost revenue from its natural resources.

Congo’s government is preparing to categorize cobalt and other metals as strategic, imposing a 10 percent royalty tax on producers.

The government is awaiting a set of recommendations from a conference organized by Congo’s Mines Ministry in the southeastern town of Kolwezi last week, said Altesse Mutombo Kupa, deputy chief of staff in charge of socioeconomic, financial and monetary issues in Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala’s office. The final recommendations are expected to be submitted to the ministry next week, he said.

The decree identifying the strategic metals will be signed by the prime minister “no later than 30 days” from date of receiving all the recommendations, Kupa said.

Companies including Glencore, China Moly and Randgold Resources Ltd. have criticized the new laws as violating their rights, as well as being a deterrent to future investment, and are continuing to lobby for it to be significantly modified.