The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala has reportedly signed regulations into law to implement the country’s new mining code aimed at increasing royalties and profits tax.
The development follows even after mining firms operating in the country objected to the new mining code and have been threatening to take the administration to court over the issue, reported Reuters.
Tshibala’s legal counsel Anita Lwambwa confirmed to the news agency that changes demanded by the mining companies were not incorporated in the regulations signed into law.
Lwambwa was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The decree fully implements the mining code promulgated by the president of the republic in March.”
Last week, DRC Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu told Reuters that the request made by the mining industry to amend certain provisions in the new code would not be entertained.
The African nation is a major producer of copper and has significant resources of cobalt, an element that is sought-after to manufacture batteries for electric cars.
Companies such as Glencore and Randgold Resources are likely to take legal action against the enactment of the code.
In March, president Joseph Kabila signed the new code, which removes the existing exemptions for projects against changes to the fiscal regime.
The companies contest that the new code will increase tax and end exemptions for pre-existing operations, breaching their agreements with the government.
Last month, an industry delegation held parleys with a commission appointed to draft the regulations.
In a statement issued during the time, Randgold stated: “They pointed out again that flaws in the current provisions of the new code would immediately cause numerous practical and legal problems, which would have a negative impact on the development of the DRC’s mining industry as well as the country’s long-term economic prospects.”