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How to Reduce Conflicts Between Mining Companies and Artisanal Miners in the Province of Lualaba: Overcoming the Policy and Systemic Barriers to a Model that Respects Human Rights

By Emmanuel Umpula NKUMBA

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), artisanal mining is legal based on the RevisedMining Code (article 109, paragraph 1) and implementing measures. The same legislation specifies that artisanal mining should take place in artisanal mining zones (ZEA). This means that artisanal mining cannot take place in a zone that is covered by a mining licence (article 109, paragraph 2), unless the licence holder renounces his permit and the cadastral system authority decides to reassign the zone by following the procedure of ZEA. In the province of Lualaba and the neighbourhoods of Kolwezi, there is no ZEA.
Located far from the city, they are neither safe nor viable for artisanal miners. Ore, the material from which a metal or valuable mineral can be profitably extracted, is only found at greater depths, and cannot be extracted easily with a person’s bare hands. Without the means to facilitate surface stripping and scouring, cooperatives and the government cannot ensure that artisanal mining occurs under safe conditions and without human rights risks.