Glencore, the Switzerland-based miner and oil trader, has defended its contribution to the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying it paid $308m in taxes last year out of a total of $4.5bn paid worldwide.
Glencore said its payments to the DRC were likely to be “significantly higher” in the future as it expands its copper and cobalt production.
The data come as Glencore and other international miners are trying to amend a new mining code in the DRC, one of the world’s poorest countries. The code, which was signed into law by President Joseph Kabila in April, increases the percentage of money due to the government on minerals sales, and also imposes a “super profit” tax when commodity prices rally.
“The introduction of a new mining code by the Democratic Republic of Congo has generated significant discussion regarding the real contribution of the mining industry in the DRC,” Steve Kalmin, Glencore’s chief financial officer, said. “We have therefore sought to provide greater clarity on our overall contribution to the economic development of the DRC.”
The DRC accounts for around 15 per cent of Glencore’s earnings, which hit $14.8bn last year. Over the past three years the miner has paid $1.1bn in taxes to the government including $101m in state royalties, it said.
That is set to increase under the new mining code. The percentage of money due to the government on sales of cobalt, a key battery material, is set to rise to 10 per cent from 2 per cent. The rate due from copper mining is also set to rise to 3.5 per cent from 2.5 per cent.
This month Glencore resolved a dispute with the country’s state-owned mining company Gecamines by agreeing to pay the company $150m and forgiving $5.6bn of debt at its Katanga asset.
Glencore has also agreed to pay its former business partner Dan Gertler, who was sanctioned by the US government in December for his mining deals in the DRC.
Glencore will pay Mr Gertler, an Israeli billionaire, €21m in royalties from the Mutanda copper mine in DRC in 2018 and €16.5m each quarter from the Kamoto Copper Company, starting in 2019.
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