A public scientific debate at the University of Uélé in the Haut-Uele Province on the review of the draft revised mining code underway at the Parliament of the DRC

A panel on the review of the draft revised mining code in parliament was a two-day public debate, from Friday 24 to Saturday 25 November 2017 in Isiro in the province of Haut-Uele. It is the Governor of the Province, the Honorable Dr. Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga who opened this meeting at the amphitheater of the University of Uele, under the initiative of his rector, the Ordinary Professor, Father Roger Gaise Nganzi. This Panel was organized by the Observatory for the Exploitation of Natural Resources and Investments in the Uélé Basin, OBERIUELE which is a structure of the same University, which the European Union supports.

All social strata of Haut-Uélé were represented at this forum, including non-state actors, the coordination and organization of civil society, the mining administration, Mining (and artisanal and industrial) operators, political authorities. local communities, journalists, researchers, professors, students to name just a few.

At the end of the debate and the pooling of recommendations from each group, it was stated that the DRC in general and the Haut-Uélé Province in particular contain a lot of raw materials, including gold, diamond, iron, iron and steel. oil, etc. from which the country could derive revenue in the billions of US dollars. Despite this abundance, the contribution of these resources to the growth and development of the country is still insignificant and the majority of Congolese live on less than a dollar a day.

The Uélé University, through the Observatory for the Exploitation of Natural Resources and Investments in the Uélé Basin (OBERIUELE), has already organized several workshops to analyze and formulate amendments to the mining code that is currently under consideration in Parliament, including those from July 13 to 14, 2012, from April 7 to April 8, 2016 and from November 24 to 25, 2017, at the end of which, it was found that:- The Constitutional Contradiction in the sense that the mining royalties are paid directly to the management of large companies in Kinshasa and that the retrocession poses a problem. With that, Haut-Uélé is the big loser.

As proof, of the 33 million US dollars that should be returned to the Province as a retrocession, only 3 million were actually paid and for the moment nothing is paid since July 2017; – The Haut-Uélé would be even bigger loser if the draft code introduced in parliament would be adopted as such insofar as some mining companies in other provinces are governed by mining conventions while the only company in Haut-Uélé operating KIBALI GOLD MINE, is governed by the mining code;  The mining code project under review, which reduces the stability clause from 10 to 5 years, will disadvantage future operations because the recovery of the invested fund requires more than 5 years taking into account the operating cycle.Thus, recommendations were made that mining royalties due to the Provinces be withheld at source as required by the Constitution and that the balance of mineral royalties already paid by KIBALI GOLD MINES which amounts to 30 million be returned to the Province of Haut Uélé. It was further recommended that mining companies be subject to the same regime, either the conventional regime or the mining code, and that the stability clause be maintained for 10 years as in the Mining Code of 2002.

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