Congo president signs law opposed by major mining companies

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congolese President Joseph Kabila has signed a mining law that is expected to increase the country’s royalties despite opposition from major mining companies.

Kabila announced the signing on Friday, two days after he met with mining company representatives for at least seven hours about the legislation that Congo’s parliament already had approved.

Congo remains deeply impoverished despite being one of the world’s most mineral-rich countries. The vast nation was plundered during decades of colonialism and dictatorship.

The revisions to Congo’s 2002 mining code have brought opposition because they would sharply increase the costs of doing business in the country. Kabila has said he will take the concerns of mining companies into consideration.

Congo is the world’s largest producer of cobalt, a mineral found in lithium-ion batteries.

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