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DRC's revised mining code proposes higher taxes, royalties

The lower house of the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted a revised mining code that will raise taxes and royalties, Reuters reported Dec. 10, citing members of parliament.

The lawmakers said only small changes were made to the code, which will now go to the Senate for approval.

The new mining code was first introduced in 2015 but was withdrawn due to opposition from mining companies, which said higher royalties would make their mines unprofitable due to lower commodity prices at the time.

The proposed bill includes a 10% increase in state's unpaid share on new mining projects compared to 5% previously, while large-scale mines would have to give at least a 10% project stake to a Congolese investor.

In the previous version, the bill included a copper royalty increase to 3.5% from 2% and a gold royalty hike to up to 3.5% from 2.5%. It is not clear whether these are still part of the revised code, according to Reuters.

Glencore Plc, Randgold Resources Ltd. and China Molybdenum Co. Ltd. are major mining investors in the country.