INTRODUCTION TO Republic of Congo

In the recent years, the Republic of Congo has regularly been attracting FDI into its territory. Even though the country has adopted a new investment law in order to attract foreign capital, its political instability, inadequate infrastructures, high cost of labor and raw materials, as well as low productivity are factors that discourage foreign investors.

The country’s natural resources are its main advantages. Oil, timber and plywood are the main sectors that attract FDI (China is the first timber buyer from Congo, followed very close by France). To compensate for the reduction in oil production, the emphasis has been focused on the mining sector which attracts more and more investors, such as the investment of Xstrata, a giant Anglo-Swiss mining company with a project that should be done by 2014. Moreover, Congo will play an important role in the core of the Central African region due to the modernization of its transport corridor between Brazzaville and Pointe Noire.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Republic of Congo began the development of an efficient mining industry on its territory in order to diversify its economy dominated by oil resources. The environmental protection and sustainable development are important issues for the development of the mining sector in the Congo, a country that is home to the second ecological lung of the world after the Amazon with its neighbours of the Congo Basin. Congo has shown an intention to optimize the exploitation of its rich subsoil and has consequently granted a significant number of exploration and research licences as well as operating licences leading to the negotiation of several mining agrements.

EXPLORATION POTENTIAL

The Republic of Congo has important mineral reserves (base metals, gold, iron and phosphate) but they have barely been explored.Oil is the dominant sector of the economy, representing over 50% of GDP, 80% of exports and 70% of total government revenue. There are some 1,500Mbbl of proven oil reserves, with the majority being located offshore.

Base metal potential in the Congo has been defined in the Niari region. Six deposits have been outlined in the Western Niari, including the most important deposit, Yanga Koubanza. Yanga Koubanza is estimated to contain 5.53 Mt grading 8% lead, 7% zinc and 1.9% copper. Canadian junior AfriOre has exploration licences covering the deposit, including the Boko Songho licence that has been estimated to contain a resource of 2Mt grading at 4.5% copper. However, due to the ongoing civil unrest in the country, little work has been completed on the licence areas. The Eastern Niari region also hosts six base metal deposits, of which the Mindouli is the largest.

Iron ore (estimated 1000 Mt) deposits have been identified near the border with Gabon as well as potential phosphate deposits near the coastal regions, spanning a distance of about 150 km.




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COMPANIES MINING IN Republic of Congo


LEGISLATION & MINING POLICY OVERVIEW

Republic of Congo’S ECONOMY

The oil and petroleum sector contribute to more than 60% of the nominal GDP.

GDP was estimated at $13.8 billion in 2010.

Natural resources: Petroleum, timber, iron ore, potash, zinc, uranium, phosphates, natural gas, hydropower.

Trade (2010 est.): Exports--$10.35 billion (f.o.b.): petroleum (88.5% of export earnings),