All assets and operations of Katanga Mining Limited are located in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is a vast country with immense economic resources, including an estimated 10% of the world's copper and 50% of its cobalt.

Since achieving independence from Belgium in 1960, the country has had a turbulent history, most recently a five-year civil war in which an estimated three million people died through fighting, malnutrition or disease.

Former rebels joined in forming a transitional government in 2003 and the country hosts the world's largest UN peacekeeping mission. The DRC held democratic elections in 2006 when Joseph Kabila was confirmed as president.

Confidence in DRC is growing

Confidence in the DRC is growing among international agencies, non-government organizations such as the World Bank, and international private-sector companies. In 2007, the country's economy grew 6.1 per cent.

The introduction of a new World Bank-sponsored Mining Code in 2002 has been instrumental in attracting investment, with over US$2.1 billion in capital committed to DRC mining projects in 2006 and 2007. As the DRC's largest source of export income, the mining industry will play an important role in the country's stabilization.

Infrastructure challenges

Infrastructure in the DRC remains in poor condition after years of war and lack of investment, posing numerous operational challenges to companies like Katanga. Private industry, international agencies and the DRC government are working to address these challenges through reconstruction and new investment. In early 2008, US$6 billion was pledged by the Chinese for a number of infrastructure projects, including 2,400 miles of roads and 2,000 miles of railways.

  • Power: Generating capacity is in poor condition but the country has massive hydropower reserves. Private sector refurbishment of the Inga II power station is scheduled to add 850MW by 2011. Katanga has been guaranteed sufficient power for its project until the end of 2009 and is working closely with SNEL, the state power utility, on its future needs.
  • Road: World Bank funding has already upgraded sections of the key Kolwezi-Lubumbashi road. From Lubumbashi there is a direct route to Durban, with journeys taking seven days.
  • Rail: A route south from Kolwezi to the border with Zambia and then onto Durban, Maputo or Dar-es-Salaam is operational. A route west to Dilolo on the border with Angola is operational, and will be the fastest route to port following expected completion of the Dilolo-Lobito section in Angola by the end of 2009.

Find out more about the DRC's road, rail and power infrastructure and Katanga's requirements.

Key facts

Enlarged version of map

Area:
2.34 million sq km

Capital:
Kinshasa

Population:
65.8 million

Languages:
French (official); Lingala, Kingwana, Kikongo, Tshiluba

Climate:
Semi-equatorial; dry season April-September, rainy season October-March

Natural resources:
Cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds

Independence:
June 30, 1960 (from Belgium)

Government:
Republic with executive, legislative and judicial branches; constitution adopted December 2005, with ICJ jurisdiction

Source: CIA The World Factbook