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The Governor in the Heart of DR Congo’s Mining Belt Wants to Put Aside Differences With the Chinese Company Sicomines

The interim governor of Lualaba province, Fyfy Masuka, standing alongside DRC Senate Speaker Modeste Bahati Lukwebo and officials from the Chinese-run mining company Sicomines in Kinshasa. Image via the DRC Senate.

Fyfy Masuka, the powerful interim governor of the DR Congo’s cobalt-rich Lualaba province, wants to ease tensions with the Chinese-run mining company Sicomines. Masuka met with Senate Speaker Modeste Bahati Lukwebo and representatives from Sicomines in Kinshasa. The meeting was an effort to try and resolve some of the various disputes over labor abuses and infrastructure that have roiled ties between the company and the provincial government in recent months.

Lualaba is home to some of the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and copper but the province doesn’t benefit directly from those mining activities since Sicomines was exempted from paying local taxes as part of its agreement with the central government in Kinshasa.

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