DR Congo signs $2bn mining deal with UAE

Wednesday July 19 2023

A worker drives a fork-lift past a machine pouring a mixture of copper and cobalt in a bag at the STL Lubumbashi in DR Congo. PHOTO | PHIL MOORE | AFP


The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has signed a mining contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a joint venture that will involve the exploitation of 3Ts minerals (Tantalum or Coltan, Tungsten and Tin) in Kivu, eastern parts of the country.

President Félix Tshisekedi witnessed the Monday signing ceremony between state-owned firm Société aurifère du Kivu et du Maniema (Sakima SA) and Primera Mining, an Emirati company, contributing almost $2 billion to the project.

The Congolese President had earlier received a delegation from the United Arab Emirates led by Sheilk Shakhboot Nahyan Al Nahyan, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates.

Read: Tshisekedi set for China visit, minerals deal in the offing

The partnership adds to existing UAE mineral explorations in South Kivu province through the firm Primera Gold. 

“For me, it's the love of the country and the Congolese people that comes first. Any project that comes along to transform the Congo will be welcome,” said Tshisekedi.


The Congolese president expressed the hope that this new partnership would be the start of a transformation for the Congolese people, particularly those in the east of the country who need to benefit from the natural resources of their region.

Tshisekedi says he wants to create more business opportunities in the Kivu region in order to find an alternative to the activities of armed groups who roam the region, making it unsafe for the last three decades in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

In June 2021, Rwanda and the DRC signed a cooperation partnership for gold mining.

At the time, President Félix Tshisekedi and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame stated that the aim was also “to deprive armed groups of income from gold mining in eastern Congo.”

Read: Rwanda’s move to stop illegal mineral imports

But this partnership was later suspended from May 2022 between Sakima SA and the Rwandan company, Dither LTD, due to the resumption of the M23 war, which Kinshasa says is supported by Rwanda.