Democratic Republic of Congo and UAE sign $1.9 billion mining deal

Congolese presidency announced on Monday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed a $1.9-billion agreement with a state mining company in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo).

The deal aims to facilitate the development of a minimum of four mines in the eastern region of the African country, which has been marked by ongoing instability.

The office of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi announced that a delegation from the United Arab Emirates government has signed a partnership agreement worth $1.9 billion with Societe Aurifere du Kivu et du Maniema (Sakima).

According to the statement, the agreement entails the establishment of “over 4 industrial mines” in the provinces of South Kivu and Maniema as part of the deal.

In the volatile eastern region of the country, Congolese parastatal Sakima holds mining concessions rich in tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold.

No further information regarding the deal, including the specific minerals to be extracted, was provided in the statement.

This deals follows a 25-year contract signed in December, wherein the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) granted export rights for certain artisanally mined ores to UAE firm Primera Group.

The contract grants Primera Group a majority stake in two joint ventures known as Primera Gold and Primera Metals.

Primera Gold and Primera Metals were granted preferential export rates for artisanally mined gold and the 3T metals (coltan, tin, tantalum, and tungsten).

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has presented this initiative as a means to undermine mineral smugglers and ensure improved livelihoods for informal miners.

For decades, eastern DRC has been plagued by militias, with their activities sustained, in part, through the illicit trade of minerals.

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

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