Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/15/2014 -- The Democratic Republic of the Congo's vast mineral resources will continue to attract international interest, given the country's huge untapped and high-grade reserves. Growth over the next five years will be driven largely by expansions in the copper sector and the Kibali gold mine ramping up to full production. However, while we expect substantial growth in mining output, risks to investment remain numerous, with security concerns and the lack of adequate infrastructure most pressing.
Plenty To Play For, But Downside Risks Lurk
After half a century of decline and unrealised potential, the DRC's mining sector is on the verge of solid growth, as several huge gold deposits are developed. The joint venture between Randgold Resources and AngloGold Ashanti in the form of the Kibali gold mine will drive growth in DRCs mining sector over our forecast period to 2018.
As well as gold, there are several significant copper projects due to come online. In addition to their size, the copper deposits in the DRC are attractive due to their high copper grade. The Kipoi and Kamoto mines are estimated to contain grades above 3.0%, significantly higher than the world average of 0.6%. This will be an increasingly important issue as some of the world's largest mines, including Antamina in Peru, Escondida in Chile and Grasberg in Indonesia, have experienced falling ore grades and thus higher extraction costs.
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