The Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa’s largest tin producer, has halted all exports of tin concentrate in recent days, according to Bloomberg News.

The exports from North Kivu were halted April 15, while shipments from South Kivu were stopped April 17, Deputy Mines Minister Victor Kasongo said in an interview yesterday in the capital, Kinshasa.

Congo’s mining laws require miners, dealers and exporters to have a permit to handle raw materials, Kasongo said, but no permits have been issued in the two provinces.

“From today you have to apply the law to the letter,” he said. "I gave instructions to customs that only with all the licenses can you export. Taxes will grow substantially.”

Most tin ore exported from DR Congo is flown into neighbouring Rwanda, before being shipped by various routes to smelters around the world. ITRI estimates that in recent years mine production in the country has been some 7,000 – 8,000 tpy of tin-in-concentrates.

The move to restrict tin exports by the DRC follows similar steps taken in copper and other minerals recently.