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Kibali and DRC Partner for Local Growth  

Boosting Local Content, Economy with New Partnership  

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a partnership that underscores the potential of local content initiatives in resource-rich regions, Africa’s largest gold mine, Kibali, has aligned forces with the Autorité de Régulation de la Sous-Traitance dans le Secteur Privé (ARSP), a regulatory body overseeing sub-contracting in the private sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This collaboration is poised to elevate the integration of Congolese contractors and suppliers into the mine’s operations, further embedding Barrick Gold Corporation’s, Kibali’s parent company, commitment to fostering local businesses and prioritizing the employment of host country nationals.

Since commencing operations in 2009, Kibali Gold Mine has channelled over $2.6 billion into the local economy through its engagement with Congolese suppliers. The mine’s workforce is a testament to its local-first approach, with 95% of its more than 6,500 employees being Congolese, including its general manager. The new partnership aims to amplify this impact, strengthening Kibali’s contribution to both the local and national economies of the DRC.

Mining Review Africa stated that, Miguel Kashal Katemb, CEO of the ARSP, commended Kibali’s efforts and encouraged the continuation of policies that significantly benefit the local and broader Congolese economy. The synergy between Kibali’s procurement policies and ARSP’s regulatory framework is a model of how the mining industry can contribute to sustainable economic development. Mark Bristow, Barrick’s President and Chief Executive, highlighted that Kibali’s initiatives not only align with but also exceed ARSP’s regulations and aims, demonstrating a commitment to sustainable value creation that transcends mere compliance.

Kibali has been instrumental in transforming the northeastern part of the DRC, a region previously mired in disadvantage, into a thriving commercial nexus. Through the development of local enterprises, Kibali has played a pivotal role in economic and social upliftment in the region. The mine has not only enhanced the commercial and technical skills of small local businesses but also provided them with opportunities to thrive. A notable example of this commitment is the construction of Kibali’s third hydropower station, completed by an entirely Congolese team, illustrating the mine’s dedication to local talent and sustainable practices.

Owned and operated by Barrick Gold Corporation, in partnership with AngloGold Ashanti and Société Minière de Kilo-Moto (SOKIMO), the state-owned mining company, Kibali Gold Mine stands as a beacon of progress and prosperity. Commencing production in 2013, it quickly ascended to become one of Africa’s largest gold-producing mines. Boasting one of the continent’s largest gold reserves, Kibali consistently exceeds annual gold production targets, with outputs regularly surpassing 700,000 ounces.

The mine’s influence extends far beyond its direct operations. By fostering thousands of jobs for Congolese nationals and engaging in extensive local procurement, Kibali has made indelible contributions to the DRC’s economy. Moreover, its financial contributions through taxes, royalties, and other payments have significantly augmented the national treasury.

This partnership between Kibali and the DRC, facilitated by ARSP, stands as a testament to the transformative power of collaborative efforts between the private sector and regulatory bodies. It highlights the mining sector’s potential to act as a catalyst for sustainable economic growth, emphasizing the importance of local content initiatives in amplifying the benefits of natural resources for host countries. As such, Kibali Gold Mine not only represents a successful commercial venture but also a model for responsible and inclusive development in the mining industry.

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