Since the signature of the Dodd-Frank Act by President Barak Obama, artisanal mining for 3Ts in the DRC has undergone highly significant positive developments in terms of due diligence for responsible supply chains of conflict-free minerals. The cooperatives welcomed the Dodd-Frank Act because of its humanitarian objective, but see in the de fact embargo on minerals from the DRC, a negative impact on the lives of the diggers and their families. Aware of the immense challenges involved in providing end-purchasers with conflict-free minerals, the cooperatives have undertaken a process of due diligence and traceability, which has not been easy. Efforts have been made by the first stakeholders in the supply chain, the diggers, to meet the requirements for the access of 3Ts to the international market. The traceability of the cooperatives minerals has had an immediate effect. The community of diggers and populations living in the mining areas have experienced a renewal of hope in the face of improvements observed, such as safety in the mines, the management of production statistics and non-dispersal of minerals and the decrease in fraud. These changes registered especially in the province of Katanga and Maniema represent a hope for a better future which deserves the unconditional support of all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Moreover, in Maniema, Cooperatives have organised themselves into a Federation FECOMIMA “Federation des Cooperatives Minieres due Maniema”. This has been with the aim of formalising artisanal mining in the interests of the production of conflict-free minerals. Now that the US SEC reports have to be submitted, it is important not to lose sight of all these persistent efforts by a community seeking only to survive. Let us join in supporting the efforts undertaken by the diggers of the DRC to provide the international market with conflict-free minerals with all the combined initiatives working together to ensure the traceability of movements of materials in the DRC.

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