Democratic Republic of Congo will soon lift a ban on mining in its troubled eastern provinces, its mines minister told Reuters. On September 11, the government banned mining in North Kivu, South Kivu and Maniema, provinces which account for about 85% of the country’s tin production and are also important sources of coltan and gold.

Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said the government would in the coming days establish a commission to look into mining in the east, after which the ban would be lifted. "The suspension of mining activities in the provinces of North and South Kivu, and Maniema, will last 20 or 30 days," he told journalists.

More details of the DRC government’s plan to control artisanal mining activity in the area may be released at an OECD-sponsored meeting to take place in Kenya next week. While the ban is in place ITRI’s pilot iTSCi traceabiliy programme at mines in South and North Kivu will remain suspended.