The Associated Press reported that miners in eastern Congo seeking to go back to work in territory that has been under a mining ban for three years and is blacklisted by U.S. legislation have started a petition made public on friday. Their petition, which calls for mines in Walikale territory to be allowed to restart production, was signed by five cooperatives of artisanal miners as well as mine owners, traditional chiefs and other supporters. Congress’s 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which requires American companies trading in Congolese minerals to conduct due diligence checks, has reinforced a ban which reportedly increases the “risks having serious effects on security owing to increased youth unemployment.” United Nations experts report that this clause has scared traders in the international market away from Africa’s Great Lakes region and the Congo project manager for the German geological institute BGR, Uwe Naeher, said last year the effects had been “devastating for livelihoods in eastern Congo.” An interim report from the U.N.’s group of experts leaked to the press last weekend said traders are exploiting the fact that minerals cannot be purchased legally in Bisie and are buying tin ore at a low price. Jean Ruyange Njongo, the mining minister for North Kivu province, which is home to Walikale, said authorities are planning to send a validation mission to Bisie and other mines in Walikale with a view to resuming production. More information is available here.
Miners in Congo start petition to resume digging
Jul 8, 2013