In his speech to the new administrators of the Gécamines partnerships, Chairman Albert Yuma rejects the Carter Centre’s conclusions and announces a new strategy.
According to GCM Chairman Albert Yuma, the Carter Center’s report “is characterised by omission, incompetence and a crawling political will to recolonize Congo’s wealth… which would make us a mere link in the global value chain of the industry”. Gecamines wants to become a full- fledged mining operator again, not only in copper and cobalt, but also in zinc, tin and other metals, and no longer wants to have its mining concessions managed by foreign operators as part of partnerships in which the state-owned company has a minority share.
The World Bank has estimated that between 2010 and 2014, tax revenues for the DRC amounted to $6.9 billion for 48.5 billion in exports, a return of barely 14.8%. In 2015, Gecamines’ partnerships brought in only $147 million in royalties, key money, rents and management fees for 3 billion dollars in turnover, i. e. barely 5.8%. In 2016, these same partnerships generated only $88 million of $2.5 billion revenues, i.e. 2,85 %. This imbalance is unacceptable, Yuma said. The GCM should have received 350 million dollars in dividends and the State should have received 786 million according to the Business Plan of the partner JVs.
For the operating GCM partnerships alone, total reserves represent 30.5 million tonnes of copper and 2.7 million tonnes of cobalt, equivalent to 6.2% of the world’s known copper reserves and almost 40% of the world’s known cobalt reserves. Apart from these partnerships, the DRC holds 60-70% of the world’s cobalt reserves. From now on, the GCM intends to make financial use of the deposits contributed to the projects. This valuation will have an impact on the shareholder distribution: from now on, Gecamines’ share in the JVs will never be less than 49%.
In the meantime, GCM will relaunch its activities in various projects, including Kamfundwa, Kamatanda, Kingamyambo and Deziwa. By the end of 2018, it expects to be able to produce 44 000 tonnes of copper, and by the end of 2019, between 60 000 and 75 000 tonnes of copper per year.