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Oxford Analytica on the DRC´s mining sector

January 8, 2009

With prices for most base metals currently at two-thirds of their earlier peaks, and futures contracts being exchanged at or below their marginal cost of production, any hopes of reviving the country’s long-dormant mining industry have now largely evaporated. Most of the 61 foreign mining companies which returned to the country after the 1998-2003 conflict – including Sicomin, the Sino-Congolese joint venture – have been forced to scale back, postpone or abandon their investment plans: Katanga Mining, Anvil Mining, and the Central African Mining and Exploration Company (Camec) have already suspended some copper and cobalt operations, and further shutdowns are expected. BHP Billiton has announced its intention to withdraw from two diamond exploration agreements, forcing its joint venture junior partners to consider following suit.

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