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Kabila to sign mining code

Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila assembled Ivan Glasenberg, Robert Friedland and Mark Bristow in Kinshasa this week only to tell them face-to-face he was going to sign the new mining law they have fought so hard against.
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Speaking in code: even with a joint market cap of well over US$100 billion, these bosses couldn't convince Kabila to ease up them

In what was supposed to be a negotiation, Kabila told Glencore's (LN:GLEN) Glasenberg, China Molydbenum's (HK:3993) Steele Li, Zijin Mining's (HK:2899) Qixue Fang, Ivanhoe Mines' (CN:IVN) Friedland, Crystal River Global's Hon Sun Cho, MMG's (HK:1208) Mark Davis and group organiser Bristow from Randgold Resources (LN:RRL) he would sign the new mining law and talk to them about implementation afterwards.

The updated mining code has already passed both parliamentary chambers and Kabila's go-ahead will put it on the books.  

It proposes upping royalties on metals from 2% to 3.5%, and cobalt up to 10% if it is deemed a strategic mineral by the government, with the kicker being a removal of a 10-year amnesty existing miners were supposed to have on new rules. 

After the meeting, which was postponed 24 hours by Kabila, the DRC government said in a statement (translated) he would listen to miners' concerns but not change the code.

"The president of the republic assured the mining operators that they are economic partners of the Democratic Republic of Congo and their concerns will be taken account of through a constructive dialogue with the government after the promulgation of the new mining law," the statement said.

Randgold's statement gave little away, only saying talks would begin next week.

"After a constructive debate, the mining operators agreed to continue discussions with the government on issues existing in the current agreement once the new mining code has been signed into law," the company said.

Ivanhoe's share price was hit the worst (a 3% drop) because Kamoa-Kakula is the key project in its portfolio.

Glencore and Randgold saw less than 1% falls in London, with some analysts saying the new code was already priced in.

Kabila is still in power more than a year after his term ended and he has so far refused to hold new elections.