Mining firms have few options left in DRC
New law voids existing agreements and increases costs for companies including Glencore and Randgold Resources
London — The options for mining companies battling new legislation in the Democratic Republic of Congo — Africa’s biggest copper producer and the source of two-thirds of the world’s cobalt — have just about run out. After six months of lobbying, companies, including Glencore and Randgold Resources, have got nowhere in their battle to push back against the mining law, which voids existing agreements and increases their costs. The final part of the bill was approved on Friday, and despite earlier indications from President Joseph Kabila that the rules might be eased, the law has not been weakened in any way. While the constitution bars Kabila from running for a third term, the leader has refused to rule himself out as a candidate in elections later in 2018, and his campaign to wring more revenue out of mining companies is proving popular with voters. A meeting in March in which CEOs including Glencore’s Ivan Glasenberg pleaded their case to Kabila was used by state media to portray th...