Lubumbashi — The flourishing mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being hobbled by poor infrastructure and a tax hike when global demand for cobalt and copper is high. The lack of power is holding back the development of the minerals processing sector and crimping Congo’s ability to reap higher profits from the boom. The Congo is Africa’s largest copper producer, and while it is also the world’s leading source of cobalt, miners can only export concentrated forms of cobalt at 60%-70% of the market price because of the energy problem. "We have … potential of 100,000 MW/year but only produce 3,000 MW/year," said Michael Shengo, of the provincial mining minister for Haut-Katanga, at the opening of the Mining Week annual conference in Lubumbashi recently. Hydropower project A massive hydropower project on the River Congo, Inga 3, has potential to power the entire country and even the continent, but has been frequently delayed. Now the project is hopefully back on track...

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