Washington, DC, November 21, 2007 —
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today it will invest in
the Kalukundi mining project in the Democratic Republic of Congo to support
economic revitalization in a country that is beginning to stabilize after
years of conflict. IFC plans to purchase shares worth about CAD$4 million
in Africo Resources Ltd. to help finance the company’s copper-cobalt project
in the Katanga province.
“IFC’s decision to proceed with this
investment shows the progress the government of the Democratic Republic
of Congo is making in improving the investment climate in the mining sector,”
said Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Africo Resources, the project sponsor.
IFC and its partners are helping establish
an integrated community development program for the area near the mine.
IFC’s team is also helping upgrade the project’s environmental and social
impact assessments to international best practice. IFC’s assistance is
expected to set a positive example for the local mining sector.
“IFC is pleased to make this investment
in the DRC which will bring substantial development benefits to the Katanga
province,” said IFC Director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals Somit
Varma. Support for the country is an important part of IFC’s strategy
in Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are committed to helping the private sector
play a more important role in helping African nations like the DRC emerge
from conflict,” said IFC Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Thierry Tanoh.
IFC proceeded with the investment after
receiving government acknowledgement of the investment in line with IFC’s
usual procedures. IFC expects that Africo’s ongoing legal dispute with
Akam Mining will be resolved in the courts of the Democratic Republic of
Congo in accordance with appropriate legal principles. Africo assured IFC
of its commitment to pursue its rights diligently in the dispute and to
provide investors with updates on its status.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international
financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services
to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people have the
opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed
$8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations
and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries.
IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information,