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Mining firms in DRC call for government to reconsider new industry laws

Mining companies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including local units of Glencore Plc, China Molybdenum Co. Ltd., Randgold Resources Ltd., Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. and MMG Ltd., urged the government to reconsider new legislation that could cause a lasting dispute between the sector and the government, Bloomberg News wrote Dec. 27, citing a letter from the group.

Among the changes included in the new legislation are raised royalties on copper, cobalt and gold to 3.5%, the introduction of a profit-windfall tax, doubling the state's free share to 10% and a reduced five-year period of guaranteed contract stability.

The mining group sent the letter to the presidents of the Senate and National Assembly, asking the officials to "suspend the process of adopting the text in its current version" and "organize a true consultation of the mining industry." The signatories also offered to support a consultation process to come up with a new version of the mining code in 2018.

Mining Minister Martin Kabwelulu did not respond to requests for comments on the matter, but the report noted that the bill has been transferred to the Senate and, if passed, will be sent to President Joseph Kabila to be signed into law.