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President Tshisekedi Calls for Regulation to Stabilize DRC’s Cobalt Market

President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has raised concerns over the unchecked artisanal exploitation of cobalt ore, attributing it to the declining prices of cobalt in international markets.

In a recent Council of Ministers meeting held on February 9, 2024, President Tshisekedi highlighted the drop in cobalt prices, which have fallen from $31,000 to $28,727 per ton since the beginning of the fourth quarter of the previous year.

To address this issue, President Tshisekedi urged the Congolese Government to take urgent measures to effectively regulate the cobalt market and increase revenues from its exploitation. 

He emphasized the need to strengthen supervision of artisanal mining to prevent further losses in state revenue.

The oversupply of cobalt in the international market, exacerbated by rampant artisanal mining in the DRC, is cited as the primary reason for the price decline. 

This decline has significant repercussions, including reduced turnover for local mining companies, lower tax and customs revenues, decreased mining royalties, and threats to employment opportunities and revenue from superprofit tax.

To combat this issue, President Tshisekedi directed the Prime Minister, Jean-Michel Sama Lukonde, to evaluate proposals from ARECOMS and consider implementing export quotas or other measures to stabilize cobalt prices. 

Additionally, he urged the Regulatory Authority to take immediate action and called on the Ministers responsible for Budget, Finance, and Mines to prioritize allocating resources to ARECOMS.

By implementing these measures promptly and effectively, the DRC aims to mitigate the negative impact of declining cobalt prices and secure sustainable revenue streams from this vital mineral resource.

Additional source: Copperbeltkatangamining

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