KINSHASA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Miners and authorities in the Congolese province of Katanga have settled a row over support for local farming, leading to the lifting of an export ban for 16 companies, a provincial minister told Reuters on Tuesday.
Mineral-rich Katanga province announced last week it was blocking exports by mining companies which it judged had not supported local agriculture projects as requested.
“We have asked mining companies that had not planted crops to pay for fertilisers for farmers for 2009, and to plant in 2010,” Katanga’s agriculture minister told Reuters by telephone, adding that all 16 companies had said they would comply.
“They are now paying for the fertilisers”, he said. “That arrangement has made it possible to lift the measure.”
However, he warned that any company that did not meet the requirement of planting 500 hectares of maize this year would again be prevented from exporting.
Kamoto Copper Company (KCC), a joint venture between Toronto-listed Katanga Mining (KAT.TO) and the Congolese state, CMSK (Compagnie Miniere du Sud Katanga) and Kota Mining were among the companies affected by the ban last week.