The Democratic Republic of Congo’s south eastern Katanga province has begun promoting itself as a source of conflict-free minerals, Bloomberg reported. The trade in tin ore, coltan, gold and wolfram from Central Africa ground to a halt in April when new auditing guidelines for mineral processors by the US-based Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative took effect. The two groups have been hosting meetings in Washington DC, USA, this week to discuss the situation.
“In Katanga there is no war and there are no military in our mines,” Moise Katumbi, the province’s governor, said in an interview. “People who are implicated in the war, people who are implicated in the reports by NGOs or the UN, can’t come and be outlaws in my province.”
Katanga has implemented taxes and regulations blocking trade in tin ore and coltan to or from neighbouring provinces where conflict persists. The province also participates in the iTSCi traceability scheme. Katanga’s coltan and tin ore exports dropped 93% from March to April, and fell to zero in May as traders stopped buying from the region, according to provincial Mines Ministry statistics. Last year the province exported 3,509 tonnes (gross weight) of tin ore, about a quarter of the DRC’s total reported exports.