Democratic Republic of the Congo - Country Commercial Guide
Mining and Minerals

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-10-11

Overview

The DRC has substantial untapped gold, cobalt and high-grade copper reserves, but equally significant security risks accentuated by a lack of robust infrastructure.  In 2019, mine production of cobalt in the DRC totaled 100,000 metric tons, accounting for 70 percent of global production.  The DRC was the third largest producer of industrial diamonds in 2019, contributing about 21 percent of global production.

The country boasts some of the highest quality copper reserves globally, with some of the mines estimated to contain grades above 3 percent, significantly higher than the global average of 0.6 - 0.8 percent.  International mining companies attracted by high grade and low-cost mines are increasingly attracted to the DRC’s copper wealth situated on the copper belt in the southern part of the country.  In 2019, the DRC produced 1.43 million tons of copper, up 19 percent over 2018.  With operating costs that are lower than traditional gold producing countries like South Africa, DRC’s gold mining sector is also witnessing renewed interest from mining companies.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Copper ore and nickel ore mining
  • Gold ore mining
  • Cobalt ore mining
  • Mining equipment leasing and financing
  • Power generation & transmission

Opportunities

With total mineral wealth estimated in the tens of trillions of dollars, the DRC offers opportunities for American firms with a high tolerance for risk and familiarity operating in complex or fragile environments.  Despite ongoing low intensity conflict in the east of the country, the potential for political instability, and unstable commodity prices, mine operators continue to invest in their operations in anticipation of improved market conditions and to maintain operational footholds in this lucrative environment.  

Resources

For more information on mining and minerals in DRC, please visit:

  • DRC Chamber of Commerce
  • Congo Business: http://www.congobusinessrdc.org/
  • Global Trade Atlas:  https://www.ihs.com/products/maritime-global-trade-atlas.html
  • National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI)
  • Regulatory Authority for Public Procurement (ARMP)
  • One-stop shop for business creation
  • USAID: https://www.usaid.gov/democratic-republic-congo
  • UNDP: https://www.cd.undp.org/
  • IMF:  https://www.imf.org/en/Countries/ResRep/COD