On 8th June 2018, the Congolese government signed into law regulations to implement the country’s new Mining Code in the face of widespread opposition from several of the world’s biggest mining companies. Effective immediately, the new code – which is a revision of the former 2002 Mining Code – aims to increase government revenue from the country’s vast natural wealth by increasing royalty rates, taxes, and requirements for state ownership shares.

While ostensibly aimed at increasing the state’s share of mining revenue, the newly revised Mining Code may ultimately deter investment, as concerns are raised over the increase in cost of doing business for investors as well as over the stability of the regulatory environment and the sanctity of commercial contracts.

Some of the world’s largest mining companies – including Randgold Resources – have already warned that the new code could end up depriving the government of US $3 billion of mining revenue over the next decade as the mining companies “pursue the application of their rights” (Bloomberg, 29.05.2018). This number may rise further if mining companies decide to abandon unfinished projects or close mines already in production.

After six months of intense lobbying by some of the country’s biggest investors, these regulations were ultimately implemented without any concessions to industry demands that some of the provisions be amended.