DRC: Up, down and around again?


Posted on June 7, 2011 14:18

With elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in late 2011, mining companies are in a hurry to get deals signed now.

In April, Brazil’s Vale offered $1.1bn for South Africa’s Metorex, with mines in DRC and Zambia, and Canada’s Equinox Minerals tried to purchase Lundin Mining, which has a stake in the huge Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine.

Other big mining companies with licences in the DRC, like Freeport McMoRan, are in the sights of larger rivals as another round of mergers and acquisitions begins.

Meanwhile, the Kinshasa government decided in late March that it would block oil exploration in Virunga National Park, forcing SOCO International and Dominion Petroleum to abandon drilling plans on Block 5 on Lake Albert.

That adds to the uncertainty around the ownership of the Lake Albert blocks on the Congolese side.

This article was first published in the May 2011 edition of The Africa Report.

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