Published On: Fri, Apr 1st, 2016

Testing times for DRC mining firms

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katanga miningKINSHASA, (CAJ News) -THE mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo has to cut costs and embrace innovation and technology to overcome the incessant challenges besetting the sector.

Ahead of a major summit in the industry, the mining sector is going through a challenging year amid structural and financial issues as well as energy woes that have hampered the viability and the productivity of companies’ current operations.

“There is no doubt that 2016 is a challenging year for the mining sector and therefore, also for the DRC,” said Elodie Delagneau, event director for the upcoming DRC Mining Week that is scheduled for June in Lubumbashi, the heart of DRC’s Katanga mining region.

“The challenges are multiple,” Delagneau said.

“However, at the end of the day we know that the main feeling out there  is: ‘business as usual: yes, but we need to cut costs’. Right now, cutting costs to stay ahead will require operational excellence. Furthermore, considerable improvements in technologies and innovative solutions will have to be implemented to maintain productivity on a bankable level.”

Delagneau said to grow the local sector, finding alternatives when it came to financing current or potential new investors was crucial to facilitate the entry of new actors, bringing guarantees and transparency to the industry players.

Delagneau noted the impact of upcoming elections on the sector.

Uncertainty has characterised the run up to the polls set for later this year. There are suggestions they could be delayed by four amid constitutional issues.

“The uncertainty of the election date is a factor, but leaves a window for local and international stakeholders to find alternatives and efficient solutions to keep up viable production,” said Delagneau.

The DRC Mining Week is the combination of the hugely successful, longstanding mining vents, (International Partnerships for African Development (iPAD) DRC and Katanga Mining Week, having merged into one strategic show, taking place in Lubumbashi from 8-9 June this year.

Last year, a record total of more than 800 attendees were at both events.

“This is our 12th year of organising infrastructure and mining events in the DRC under the iPAD brand and more than ever we believe in this sector and this country,” added Delagneau.

Among highlights will be the annual DRC Mining Industry Awards set for June 8.

Between 2011 and 2013, the mining sector alone has contributed $940 million, $1,1 billion and $1,3 billion respectively in taxes to the country’s Treasury.

DRC Mining Week is organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of  Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.

CAJ News

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