Congo Ousts Mining Leader in a Cloud of Corruption Claims

Congo Ousts Mining Leader in a Cloud of Corruption Claims

Congo Ousts Mining LeadeThe country’s president removed Albert Yuma Mulimbi as chairman of the state mining firm. Cobalt in Congo is a crucial resource in the global clean energy revolution.

The chairman of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining company was ousted on Friday after longtime allegations that billions of dollars in revenue had gone missing, a move officials said was intended to fight corruption as the country becomes increasingly important in the global clean energy revolution.

Albert Yuma Mulimbi, the chairman of the company since 2010, was replaced by President Felix Tshisekedi of Congo just days after The New York Times published an article revealing new allegations against Mr. Yuma.

The government agency, known as Gécamines, controls production of metals such as cobalt and copper, crucial resources in the push to expand electric vehicles and other renewables. Without his chairmanship, Mr. Yuma will no longer have a significant role in partnering with international companies over major mining deals.

“It is hard to underestimate the importance of this development — it is a significant step in the fight against corruption in Congo,” said J. Peter Pham, who until January served as a senior Central Africa official with the U.S. State Department. “Albert Yuma and the mining sector stand at the nexus of natural resources, political and economic power in the country.”

At least for now, Mr. Yuma will retain his role supervising the reform of small-scale and informal mining in Congo, one industry executive said. His plans include buying cobalt from the informal miners, also known as artisanal miners, and regulating pricing. Cobalt produced by artisanal mining, as opposed to industrial operations, makes up about 30 percent of the nation’s output.

Source: NYT

Thanks for sharing!
Business Markets Mining Paper