Copper Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Copper Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo produced 942 000 t of copper in 2013, up 52% from the year before, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.
The IMF said a buoyant mining sector would spur economic growth to 8.7% this year, up from 8.5% in 2013 but short of the government’s double-digit target for 2014.
Congo’s economy leans heavily on the mining sector, even though decades of conflict has made it difficult to exploit the full extent of the country’s estimated trillions of dollars of mineral wealth.
The IMF said copper output rose from 619 000 t in 2012, a jump that comes as the vast nation seeks to ramp up production from its southeastern Katanga province despite electricity shortages hampering the operations of mining firms.
One mining industry official said the lack of stable power supply was trimming potential output by about 20%.
The former Belgian colony has been plagued by chronic mismanagement and a series of conflicts that have deprived the country of the most basic infrastructure and social services. The most serious rebellion in a decade ended last year.
The IMF called on the government to build up foreign exchange reserves and make the economy more competitive so it has a buffer for any fall in the price of commodities.