The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has accused Congo’s Government of not revealing the sale of state shares in a joint mining venture, breaching both its own regulations and terms agreed with the World Bank.
This week Swiss company Glencore said that its Congo joint venture Mutanda Mining had acquired Kawama concession in February from Congo’s state-owned mining company Gecamines to expand its copper and cobalt mining in the area.
Local mining operator Dino Steel International owned a 70% interest and sold the concession, while the remaining interest is held by Gecamines.
In May 2011, Congo’s Prime Minister passed a decree making it mandatory for companies to announce mining deals that involve the state in a bid to improve transparency.
The decree also requires the state to publish the contracts within a time period of 60 days after they are completed.
IMF is said to have stopped $240m of loans to Congo, claiming that the country failed to provide sufficient details on the sale.
In an email to Reuters, IMF resident representative in Congo Oscar Melhado wrote: "This sale of asset by the state-owned enterprise, Gecamines, as confirmed by the company acquiring the asset, was not posted within 60 days of its signing on the website of the Ministry of Mines nor gazette."
Melhado added saying that the sale also does not comply with some criteria of the governance matrix that was agreed between the government and the World Bank.