DR Congo’s state owned mining company revamps to boost production
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company was one of the world’s top copper miners. It is now on track to bounce back after war and other setbacks threatened to dissolve it altogether. At its peak in 1986, the company shipped 476,000 tonnes of copper. Currently, they plan to increase copper production to 100,000 tonnes this year up from 60,000 tonnes in 2013.
Founded in 1906, this is one of Africa’s oldest state owned miners. “I have a sense that this company has a legacy and a historical context that the country has transformed into a source of pride. Along with employment and economic benefits, there is a real vested interest to ensure its viability,” notes Attaty Kodjo, ATI’s Underwriter responsible for the DR Congo market.
Constrained by a lack of power supply, which currently stands at a 300MW deficit, the company is also hoping to raise $2.8 billion to fund a 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant, three processing units and social spending. Together with a new Chief Executive Officer at the helm, they are optimistic that results this year will show a marked improvement.
ATI is supporting the company’s comeback with cover against non-payment to a local bank on a $15 million loan facility. The loan is expected to shore up the company’s working capital.
DR Congo is Africa’s leading copper producer and the world’s sixth-largest producer. Mining is an integral part of the country’s economic fabric contributing approximately 80 per cent of its annual export revenue and about 30 per cent of its gross domestic product.
“The DRC is undergoing a revival. Much like the rest of Africa, investors are approaching the country with fresh eyes. Banks in particular are looking closely at the potential to support mining and infrastructure projects,” commented Attaty Kodjo, ATI’s Underwriter responsible for the DR Congo market.
To date, ATI has supported $25 million worth of investments and $27 million in trade to the DRC.