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Africa Mining: Congo copper production up 9% in first nine months of year

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Sample of copper wires

Copper production in Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s top producer of the metal, was up by 9.3% this year through September, at 831 000 tonnes, the central bank said on Monday.

The bank also said in a monthly report that cobalt production increased by 18% to 59 000 tonnes and gold production rose 5.7% to 23 000 kg.

Rising production should help ease the country’s economic problems. Inflation is expected to hit about 50% this year, largely due to lingering effects from two years of low commodity prices.

The economy has also been rattled by political upheaval caused by repeated delays since 2016 to an election to replace President Joseph Kabila. The country’s electoral commission postponed the vote again on Sunday to December 2018.

Major investors in Congo’s mining sector include Glencore, Randgold Resources and China Molybdenum.

Despite its vast mineral riches, Congo remains one of the world’s least developed countries, with an annual budget of roughly $5 billion for a population of 80 million people. (source: Reuters)

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