INTRODUCTION TO Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC")located in Central Africa, is potentially one of the richest mining countries in Africa, the DRC is attractive to both major and junior international mining and exploration companies.

The DRC’s development potential is considerable; copper, cobalt, coffee, petroleum, and diamonds provide most of its foreign exchange earnings. Improved political stability would boost the DRC’s long-term potential to effectively exploit its vast wealth of mineral and agricultural resources.

The economy is largely under mobilized and underused, with 80 percent of the labor force deployed in subsistence activities. Leaving mineral, agricultural and energy potential largely untapped. Renewed growth could rely on the country’s low-cost and potentially competitive labor force, strong natural resource base, large domestic market, dynamic local communities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), preferential access to European markets, and proximity to the South African economy.


Often referred to by scientists as a "geological scandal" because of its many natural resources, the DRC offers lucrative opportunities particularly in the mining sector.These are namely:

The expansion of copper production in Katanga, coltan and cassiterite in Kivu, gold at Kilo-moto and diamond production;

Rehabilitation of the Moanda refinery in the coastal basin and exploitation of methane gas in Kivu;

Oil prospecting and exploitation in the coastal basin and Ituri in the eastern province; and

Infrastructure development, transportation, pipelines and also oil product distribution in urban centres as well as geological mining research and processing.


The DRC is host to a variety of mineral resources, which include copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, zinc, iron and uranium. Previously, the mining sector accounted for about 75% of total export earnings and 25% of GDP. Although it suffered a civil war and the impact of the global financial crisis, it represents the single largest recipient of FDI.

There are also deposits of gold, cassiterite, manganese, cadmium, germanium, silver, wolframite ,columbotantalite, chrome,iron,nickel,platinum,tin,lead and uranium, most of which are exploited only on a small-scale industrial or artisanal basis. Copper, cobalt, zinc and germanium are found mainly in the south-eastern Katanga province, adjoining the Zambian Copper belt; diamonds are located mainly in Kasaï province, particularly around the towns of Mbuji-Mayi and Tshikapa, although some mining activities are conducted in the Bandundu and Province Orientale regions.

Cassiterite, wolframite, gold and columbo-tantalite are exploited mainly in the Kivu region in the east. The state-owned mining corporation, the Générale des Carrières et des Mines (GECAMINES), was the dominant producer in the 1980s, accounting for more than 90% of copper output as well as all the production outputs of cobalt, zinc and coal.


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COMPANIES MINING IN Democratic Republic of Congo


The DRC in conjunction with the World Bank passed the New Mining Code in July 2002. The code includes the prospecting, exploration, exploitation, processing, transportation and sale of mineral commodities in the DRC. The State is responsible for the promotion and regulation of developments in the mineral sector.

Licenses are only granted through an agent domiciled in the DRC or through a tender for known, valuable mineral deposits.

Democratic Republic of Congo’S ECONOMY

Diamonds and petroleum to the fore during the weakened economy of the 1990’s. Two-thirds of the DRC’s diamond production comes from small-scale artisanal diggers, and does not account for undeclared or undervalued diamond exports.

The DRC’s crude oil production is minor in relation to other sub-Saharan African oil producers, but remains steady and serves as the most reliable source of government revenues.

A lot of mining activities occur in the informal sector and are therefore not recorded in the GDP.

The DRC’s electricity sector is the best prospect for growth. In addition this sector offers significant opportunities for the improvement of industry and local living standards.

As a whole the country is benefiting from increasing exports and an improved inflation rate.