DRC President Felix Tshisekedi has ordered a ban on issuing and trading mining permits until the country’s mining registry has been audited, a measure aimed at combating fraud within the sector. Tshisekedi told ministers he wanted to end the squandering of mining assets by unnamed political actors and officials involved in the administration of the mining register, which records mining concessions, according to minutes of the meeting seen by Reuters. The move is an escalation of Tshisekedi’s ongoing review of deals struck by his predecessor Joseph Kabila, which includes a $6bn “infrastructure-for-minerals” deal with Chinese investors. The DRC is the world’s top producer of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper producer, but more than 70% of its roughly 100-million people live on less than $1.90 per day, according to the World Bank. Transparency activists have estimated the DRC has lost out on billions of dollars of revenue from mining deals over the past two decades.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE