This week one of the largest gathering of mining professionals is taking place at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, South Africa. At the event, the Chamber of Mines for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has welcomed the DRC government’s announcement that, after negotiations with the industry, it has dropped initial plans to amend the country’s mining code.

Chamber of Mines spokesman Simon Tuma-Waku said government had recognized that a more onerous code would drive investors away from what was already a stressed market, as had happened elsewhere in Africa. “The assurance given at the Indaba by Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu that the current code will be retained has brought clarity and stability to the situation,” Tuma-Waku said. “With the uncertainty out of the way, the DRC can now return to being a competitive mining investment destination, to the benefit of the government as well as the industry.”

He also noted that while 2015 had been a tough year for the DRC’s mining industry, it had held up reasonably well in the face of challenging conditions. Copper production was down only 3.3% year-on-year despite the closure of marginal operations. Zinc also dipped but cobalt and diamond production was slightly higher, and the biggest positive move came from gold, with the 2015 total of 25 metric tons up 30% year-on-year on back of the Kibali ramp-up.

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