DRC unemployment rises as mines screech to a halt

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In tune with the global economic downturn, reports from Katanga in DR Congo claim that over 200,000 jobs have been amid a collapse in international mineral prices.

DR Congo produces about half of the world’s cobalt and 4% of the copper, with Katanga being the richest province in DR Congo.

However, low demand for the resources has contributed to more than 40 mineral processing firms, mainly in the southern Katanga province, shutting down only in the last month.

There are fears the job losses could reach 300,000 by the end of this month.

Provincial Minister of Mines, Barthelemy Mumba Gama, was quoted as saying that the cost of producing minerals like cobalt and copper was greater than the price the commodities are fetching on world markets and the development would grossly affect the country’s revenue.

Democratic Republic of Congo has long been popular with mining companies, with its rich supplies of cobalt, copper, tin, radium, uranium, diamonds and coltan, a vital ingredient for mobile phones.

The Mine Minister believes the situation could be saved if the central government agreed to relieve the tax burden in the mining sector.

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