On 8th June 2018, the Congolese government officially designated cobalt as a ‘strategic substance’ under the DRC’s newly implemented Mining Code, raising royalty payments fivefold to 10%.

Despite serious objections from several of the world’s biggest mining companies, the new code contains some significant differences to the former 2002 Mining Code, which has governed the country’s mining industry for almost two decades.

While ostensibly aimed at increasing the state’s share of revenue from the country’s vast natural wealth – through a rise in royalty rates, taxes and requirements for state ownership shares – there are concerns that the newly revised Mining Code may ultimately deter investment (See “A New Mining Code: A Self Enrichment Exercise”).

Yet the DRC’s vast reserves of high-quality cobalt are likely to ensure that the country remains the dominant producer of the highly sought-after metal in the foreseeable future.