The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)s vast mineral resources continue to attract international interest, with a number of international firms reportedly vying for access to the countrys deposits. In terms of growth potential, the industry is one of the most attractive in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with the sector forecast to expand by almost 70% in value terms between 2011 and 2015. We forecast the sector to reach a value of US$8.3bn by 2015. Annual real growth is projected to annual average 13.7% over the period. However, while we expect substantial growth in mining output, huge risks remain, with the November 2011 general election a potential threat to the recently established stability.Ore To Play For
Like much of SSA, the DRCs iron ore mining sector remains at the early stages of development, having lain dormant since the countrys independence. Foreign firms have been showing interest in developing the countrys considerable resources. A number of projects are in the formative planning stages, with Core Minings Avima project currently the closest to beginning production, with output of 20mtpa (million tonnes per annum) expected from 2015.
With growing interest in Africas largely untapped iron ore resources, the DRCs considerable deposits of the mineral have fallen under the gaze of international mining firms. One of the largest projects in development on the region is Sundance Resources Mbalam project, which spans the border between Cameroon and the DRC. The first stage of production at the mine is due to begin on Cameroons side of the project in Q414, with further expansion expected thereafter. There has been growing speculation that South Korean steelmaker POSCO was planning to make and offer to buy partial rights to the project from Sundance (the project is estimated to be worth US$4.6bn). A source reportedly said that the companies had previously been in talks that finished without resolution. Sundance is reportedly seeking a deal to sell a stake of up to 50%.Business Environment
The DRC is one of the lower ranked states in our Africa Mining Business Environment Ratings in Q112. It is in third place in Africa in terms of its mining industry potential, with a score of 60.0 out of 100, but second to last regarding country risk, with a meagre 18.5. Nevertheless, numerous large-scale projects are coming online over the next five years, with Randgold Resources Kibali gold mine expected in 2013. The mine has reserves of 13mn ounces (moz) and is one of the largest in Africa. However, political impediments are likely to remain, as conflict continues in the east of the country, where much of the mining occurs. The potential for political ructions will continue to pose downside risks to mining sector growth. In particular, the general elections, due to be held in November 2011, may go some way towards undoing the industrys recent progress, with growing reports that the countrys mineral wealth is being used as a pawn by some runners in the campaign. According to USA Today, there are reports within the country that US$800mn in assets was sold from state-owned miner Gecamines to provide funds for the re-election campaign of President Joseph Kabila.Key Players
Anvil Mining is a leading copper miner in the DRC, with three facilities, at Dikulushi, Mutoshi and Kinsevere. Mutoshi and Dikulushi have been on care and maintenance since Q308 and Q408 respectively, with the company choosing to concentrate on developing Kinsevere. Banro Corporation is a Canada-owned gold exploration and development firm with four wholly owned mining projects located along the major gold belt of the DRCs eastern provinces. Tiger Resources Limited is an Australia-owned mining company, which recently made the transition from explorer to producer. The company is engaged primarily in mining copper and cobalt and owns a portfolio of properties, all in the Katanga Copperbelt region.The price of this market report covers 4 quarterly reports on this sector. This quarterly report will be downloadable instantly as a PDF document, with the 3 remaining reports delivered at regular intervals throughout the year.
Click for Report details:Democratic Republic of Congo Mining Report Q1 2012