DR Congo signs $1.9 billion mining deal with UAE

The deal would see the "construction of more than 4 industrial mines" in the provinces of South Kivu and Maniema.

July 19, 2023 03:17 am | Updated 03:17 am IST - Kinshasa

File image for representation.

File image for representation. | Photo Credit: AFP

The United Arab Emirates signed a $1.9-billion deal with a state mining company in DR Congo to develop at least four mines in the African country's turbulent east, the Congolese presidency said Monday.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi's office stated on Monday evening that an Emirati government delegation had signed a partnership worth $1.9 billion with Societe Aurifere du Kivu et du Maniema (Sakima) in the capital Kinshasa.

The deal would see the "construction of more than 4 industrial mines" in the provinces of South Kivu and Maniema, according to the statement.

Congolese parastatal Sakima has mining concessions containing tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold in the volatile east of the country.

The statement gave no other details about the deal, including the type of minerals that would be extracted.

Government spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

The new deal comes after the DRC signed a 25-year contract in December with UAE firm Primera Group over export rights for some artisanally mined ores.

The contract awarded Primera Group a majority stake in two joint ventures, Primera Gold and Primera Metals.

Primera Gold and Primera Metals received preferential export rates for artisanally mined gold, and artisanally mined coltan and tin, tantalum and tungsten — the so-called 3T metals — respectively.

The DRC has touted the initiative as way to undercut mineral smugglers and guarantee a better livelihood for informal miners.

Militias have plagued eastern DRC for decades, sustained in part though trading illicit minerals.

Primera Gold began operations in South Kivu province in January, and by May had shipped one tonne of certified gold, according to the Congolese finance ministry.

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