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Congo
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Civil war in this region has not assisted any substantial resource development. Congo’s main mineral industry is focused on petroleum products, with petroleum contributing 60% of the Congo’s foreign exchange earnings annually. The Congo has base metal, gold, iron ore and phosphate potential. Other mineral occurrences in the country include bauxite, cobalt, copper, lead, manganese, nickel, niobium, peat, silver, tin, tungsten and zinc.

Work carried out by geologists from Ashanti Goldfields have discovered primary gold mineralization at the Mougongo prospect which covers the newly identified 180 km long Mayombe Belt.

Trace showings of alluvial diamonds have been located near the border with the Central African Republic. Portuguese based Escom have apparently secured diamond exploration rights in the northern Congolese region of Likouala. The license covers 6 000 km2, with exploration work beginning in late 2001.

Base metal potential in the Congo has been defined in the Niari region. Six deposits have been outlined in the Western Niari, including the most important deposit, Yanga Koubanza. Yanga Koubanza is estimated to contain 5.53 Mt grading 8% lead, 7% zinc and 1.9% copper. Canadian junior AfriOre has exploration licenses covering the deposit, including the Boko Songho license that has been estimated to contain a resource of 2Mt grading at 4.5% copper. However, due to the ongoing civil unrest in the country, little work has been completed on the license areas. The Eastern Niari region also hosts six base metal deposits, of which the Mindouli is the largest.

Iron ore (estimated 1000 Mt) deposits have been identified near the border with Gabon as well as potential phosphate deposits near the coastal regions, spanning a distance of about 150 km.

Most projects in the country are on hold or suspended because of the civil war and subsequent rebel activity.

Official diamond exports effectively have been proscribed since 2004 when Congo was removed as a participant in the Kimberley Process. To discourage the trade in conflict diamond, Kimberley Process participant nations (which accounted for 98% of the international diamond trade) were prohibited from trading diamond with non-participant nations.

Gold

Artisanal miners in the Kele-Mbomo, the Kouilou-Mayonbe and the Mossendjo-Chaillu areas were responsible for most of Congo’s gold production. In 2006, Compagnie Miniere du Chaillu, a subsidiary of Mexivada Mining Corp. of Canad, started prospecting on the Malambani permit in thr Mayoko greenstone belt, northwest of Brazzville.

Diamond

Diamond production is mostly artisanal and the major miners responsible for this production are in the Kouilou, the Lekoumou, the Likouala, the Niari and the West Cuvette regions.

Mineral Law & Legislation

The mineral sector was regulated by Ministre des Mines, des Industries Minieres et de la Geologie. Mining was regulated by the Code Minier (law No. 4-2005). The current regulator is the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Hydrocarbons.

Major Players in the Industry

  • Escom
  • AfriOre
  • Compagnie Miniere du Chaillu, a subsidiary of Mexivada Mining Corp.
  • Costamin Resources

Key Figures

  • Gold production: 100 kilograms (2006)
  • Diamond production:50,000 carats (2006)
  • Cement production: 100,000 metric tons (2006)
  • Lime production: 400 metric tons (2006)

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