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Big Investment for DRC Mines

Rawbank Sarl forecast its lending to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s mining industry will jump more than 20% to over $1 billion this year, buoyed by rising demand and strong prices for the country’s strategic minerals.  The bank’s mining-linked loan book increased to $820 million in 2022, nearly doubling its credit offerings from the year before, according to Etienne Mabunda, commercial director at the Kinshasa-based lender. The figure includes credit to mining companies, subcontractors and salaried workers at large firms, he said. High mineral prices and a recent law requiring more Congolese nationals to work as subcontractors in the industry led to “major investments” in the nation’s copper, cobalt, gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten industries last year, Mabunda said Thursday in a written response to questions. The transition to greener energy has led to a scramble for minerals needed to manufacture EVs, solar panels and turbines. Congo provides more than two-thirds of the key battery-mineral cobalt and is one of the world’s largest copper producers. The government is also looking to develop chrome, nickel and lithium deposits, Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi said this week.