A group of mining companies, including Glencore and Randgold Resources, have banded together in an effort to halt legislative changes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A new code, approved by lawmakers on 27 January following a five-year reform process, was set to raise costs for mining companies in the country, Africa's primary producer of copper.
Bloomberg reported that the group of companies, consisting of Glencore, Randgold, Ivanhoe Mines, MMG, Zijin Mining Group, China Molybdenum and Anglogold Ashanti, sent a letter to Congolese President Joseph Kabila on 8 February requesting a meeting to discuss changes to the mining code.
The same mining companies were also pushing to replace the Chamber of Mines, part of Congo's private sector lobby group, because it “was unable to satisfactorily consolidate and communicate our wishes during the re-visitation of the Mining Code.”
Hence their decision to form their own “association of major mining companies in the DRC”, with members of the group such as Glencore, Randgold and China Moly having stated in December that they were willing to pursue the matter “by all domestic and international means at their disposal.”
Mark Bristow, chief executive of Randgold, said: “Watching people shoot themselves in the head, not even in the foot, is frustrating for me. The mining environment in the DRC needs to be improved, but improved in consultation with the main investors, which are China Molybdenum, Glencore and ourselves.”
Mines minister Martin Kabwelulu said: “It is a pity that these companies are making a move outside FEC's Chamber of Mines. The body has participated in discussions with all stakeholders since 2012.”