The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo plans to expand its main border post with Zambia. The move follows reports of mining trucks queuing upto 60km due to increased production and inadequate infrastructure.
Congo accounted for 1.8 million tonnes of mined production of the metal last year. However, the turnaround time of trucks has increased substantially taking an extra 45 to 60 days for the products to reach consumption centres in Asia, Europe or North America. This compares to around 15 days in 2019. This in turn affects demand products.
Future demand of products
The backlog of trucks at Kasumbalesa, a border town and the main exit point for metals exports from Congo, is an example of supply chain disruption that will make it harder to meet future demand for copper, essential for electric vehicles.
Michel Kibonge Nyekuma, chief of staff for the Minister of Mines also attributed increased traffic as a cause of the long queues of trucks. However the government is trying to lessen the situation. A construction project for a second Lubumumbashi – Kasumbalesa road is in the process of being signed and it would take at least 18 months to complete from the date the project is approved.
“More border posts would add “a significant amount of processing capacity, create competition between the different provinces and all those customs clearing revenues would improve efficiencies,” said Miners with operations in Congo.