The iTSCi Programme is pleased to recognise the receipt of equipment, between April and June 2014 to support the implementation of iTSCi field activities and enable further conflict-free mineral production from the DRC. The equipment has been made available by PROMINES, a national mineral development project of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and co-financed by the World Bank and the Department for International Development (UK). The objective of PROMINES is to improve the governance of the minerals sector in the DRC and increase its contribution to economic growth and sustainable development, including in relation to artisanal mining, and both PROMINES and iTSCi are committed to supporting the DRC Government in its delivery of greater transparency and efficiency in artisanal and the small-scale mining sector.
Difficulties also facing the production of 3T minerals in the DRC is from the limited infrastructure especially in more remote mining areas, which results in difficult and expensive communications, transport and logistics etc. These significant challenges are also faced by iTSCi staff when implementing traceability in the upstream supply chain, as well as in the performance of due diligence, incident monitoring and auditing. PROMINES has therefore provided transport equipment, communications equipment, and other essential field equipment to the iTSCi Programme, with a view to expanding the Programme into Maniema Province, and to further increase the volumes of conflict-free mineral production bringing benefits of formalisation, increased revenues and development to local authorities and Government. Although the iTSCi Programme has extensive local support, it still faces significant challenges, especially at the early implementation stages of mineral production. Donor funding, therefore, (such as that from PROMINES) would enable more communities to realise the demonstrated benefits at a greater rate.