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19 October 2017 23:44 (South Africa)

Congo Gecamines boss has had enough

The head of the Democratic Republic of Congo's state miner Gecamines has resigned. Apart from the usual protestations that he stepped down to pass on to a new chief, what was once one of Congo's biggest mineral exporters barely functions. Canadian Paul Fortin said that after four years, two and a half years more than his initial contract, problems remain, but progress has been made. He guided the company into joint ventures at a time when many mining multinationals invested in copper and cobalt mines. But the global recession has hit the DRC’s resources sector hard, with mines closing and projects frozen over the past year. The outgoing boss’s former deputy will become acting chief executive. Cash-rich China has said that the Congo is a treasure trove waiting to be opened up, and is busy building billions of dollars of infrastructure there in exchange for mining concessions.

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