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Congo Scores First Round Victory Against Canadian Mining Co.

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

As the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recovers from more than 40 years of dictatorship and war, with a budget heavily reliant on mining revenue, there was some good news from the International Court of Arbitration in Paris.

The Court let stand a decision by the DRC to cancel First Quantum of Canada's KMT copper project last September, after a review found contract irregularities and production delays at the mine.

Earlier this year, a top court in the country also annulled the Canadian miner's rights to two other copper mines.

Congo has 4 percent of the world’s copper and nearly a third of its cobalt, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

“We have won,” Martin Kabwelulu, minister of mines, said.

The tribunal also ordered First Quantum to end a media campaign against the DRC. The “smear campaign” against the country nearly foiled the DRC’s efforts to secure a $8 billion debt relief deal from the World Bank.

The Vancouver-based company’s investments in Congo were valued at close to one billion dollars.

Meanwhile, the DRC Minister announced that mining companies will soon be asked to pay into a new fund to buffer the country's lost revenues when the mines are eventually exhausted.

"The non-renewable character of mining resources obliges us to think what comes after mining," he said. "The children to come must find that the government has set aside some funds."

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