Democratic Republic of the Congo – DRC
Independent from Belgium since 30 June 1960, the DRC is at the heart of the equatorial region of Sub-Saharan Africa and includes 47% of the continent's forest. The Congo River and its tributaries form an economic lifeline. The population of 71 million is split into many ethnic groups and it is also divided by at least 210 languages – but mainly French, Lingala, Kiswahili, Kikongo and Tshiluba.
The DRC is home to vast reserves of a wide variety of natural mineral resources such as cobalt, copper, gold, tin and diamonds. DRC is believed to contain about 4% of the world’s copper reserves and one-third of its cobalt reserves. All mineral deposits in the DRC are state-owned and the holder of mining rights also gains ownership of the mineral products for sale. Governed by the National Mining Code, the Ministry of Mines regulates the Mining Registry, Directorate of Mines and the Geological Directorate. The country is the world’s second largest diamond exporter by volume and the fifth-largest producer.
Significant investment in project development and production is taking place in the DRC. Major copper projects in Katanga include the Tenke Fungurume mine (130kt copper production expected 2011), the Kinsevere copper mine (planned 60ktpa copper production). Major gold projects include the Banro Corporation Twangiza mine and the Randgold Resources/Anglogold Ashanti Kibali mine (both scheduled for production in 2014).