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How to reduce conflicts between mining companies and artisanal miners in the province of Lualaba


By Emmanuel UMPULA

In the DRC artisanal mining is legal on the basis of the revised mining code (article 109, paragraph 1) and implementing measures.  The same legislation specifies  that artisanal mining should take place in artisanal mining zones (ZEA); in other words artisanal mining cannot take place in a zone that is covered by a 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[1] . In the province of Lualaba and the neighbourhoods of Kolwezi there is no ZEA. They are located far from the city and are not viable. Ores can be found at higher depths and cannot be exploited with bare hands.  Cooperatives and the government do not have the means to facilitate surface stripping and scouring in order to ensure that artisanal mining happens in good conditions and without risks.   

Almost all the mines located in the neighbourhood of important cities (Kolwezi, Fungurume, Kakanda) belong to industrial mining companies which possess exploration or exploitation licences. This means that these areas cannot be used for artisanal mining.

Due to the lack of artisanal mining zones, strangers invade mining sites that belong to companies. These intrusions occur with or without the consent of these companies; in some cases the intrusions are facilitated by the security guards who accept bribes.

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[1]Joint report by Amnesty International and AFREWATCH: “ This is what we die for Human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo power the global trade in cobalt, 2016.P.2