dr congo miners upset at us conflict mineral rules
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

In the lush hills of eastern DR Congo

DR Congo miners upset at US 'conflict mineral' rules

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today DR Congo miners upset at US 'conflict mineral' rules

Self-employed miners digging for cassiterite near Numbi in hilly eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Numbi - Arab Today

 In the lush hills of eastern DR Congo, where the trade in rare minerals has long fed unrest, miners complain that recent US rules against "conflict minerals" have bitten into their meagre income.

"Since they brought in this law, things did get worse," said miner Ombeni Chikala in South Kivu, the troubled mineral-rich eastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo.

Introduced in 2010, section 1502 of Washington's Dodd-Frank law -- known to the self-employed miners as "Obama's law" -- requires companies listed on the US stock exchange to report any use of conflict minerals to regulators.

However the US government this year said the law was under review.

Situated to the west of Lake Kivu, the green hills surrounding the small mining town of Numbi in South Kivu are dotted with mining sites -- some just holes in the ground, others large hills reduced to quarries.

Chikala, 32, digs for cassiterite and coltan near Numbi in sites validated as free of conflict minerals by the United Nations and USAID.

Cassiterite (used for tin) and coltan (for tantalum), along with gold ore and wolframite (for tungsten), are the four most common "conflict minerals" extracted by tens of thousands of Congolese miners.

Trade in the minerals, which power the world's consumer electronics, have helped fund and trigger foreign and local wars in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in which millions of people have been killed and displaced in the last decades.

- 'Tagging is killing us' -

"In the past you could dig 100 kilos (220 pounds), you could take it wherever you want and sell it to anyone you want," said Chikala.

But under the new rules, the miners must comply with a traceability scheme set up by British organisation ITRI Ltd under which minerals are sold down the consumer chain via a system of "bag-and-tagging".

"This tagging system really is killing us," said Chikala's co-worker Byamungu Kabyona, 42.

"In the past we used to work freely, you can dig your stones," Kabyona said.

"You get your stones or you buy your stones, you can sell them to anyone you want, you can take them wherever you want as long as you have the card from the mining ministry and other documents from the government," he added.

Others argue however that the new system helps the small-scale miners.

A repeal of the US regulation would be "a tragedy for the artisanal mining sector," said Fidel Bafilemba, founder and director of the Support Group for Traceability and Transparency in the Management of Natural Resources, known by its French acronym GATT-RN.

"The region has been known for violent artisanal exploitation and if we have made any improvements, it's solely due to the pressure of this US law," he said.

- 'Completely chaotic' -

But local miners are not the only critics.

The immediate consequences of Dodd-Frank were "completely chaotic", said John Kanyoni, managing director of mining company Metachem Sarl and vice president of the Chamber of Mines.

He said economic activity had slumped, with loans lost and "thousands and thousands" of diggers out of work.

In 2014, Kanyoni helped draft a letter signed by 70 industry representatives, researchers, journalists and members of civil society criticising section 1502 and calling for a "more nuanced and holistic approach" with greater local consultation.

Though he acknowledged that the bill had been a "kind of catalyst" for positive change, he stressed that it was often the diggers who had to bear the costs of traceability and transparency.

- 'Not fair' -

"In the end, the diggers (are) the ones who will be losing more," said Kanyoni. "If you're getting two dollars more, three dollars more, this money will be going to the traceability, due diligence and certification schemes.".

Bafilemba, of GATT-RN, agreed, saying self-employed miners earn less for the minerals they sell because of ITRI fees imposed on exporters.

"This money is ... charged back to the miners. So in principle, it’s the miners who are paying this money. It’s not fair. It should be on the end-users, the giant electronic companies to pay this amount," Bafilemba said.

But while digging near Numbi, 33-year-old Salomon Kahizi said that though the prices had dropped, the area was safer nowadays for these lone miners, who had frequently been victims of robbery in the past.

"When you'd be digging or working they might show up and take everything... But nowadays, those kinds of attacks, we don’t see them anymore," Kahizi said.

source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

dr congo miners upset at us conflict mineral rules dr congo miners upset at us conflict mineral rules

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

dr congo miners upset at us conflict mineral rules dr congo miners upset at us conflict mineral rules

 



Arab Today, arab today Modern colorful bedroom renovation

GMT 11:23 2017 Thursday ,21 December

Modern colorful bedroom renovation
Arab Today, arab today For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 11:14 2017 Tuesday ,19 December

For the Variety of Interior Design Styles

GMT 12:26 2017 Friday ,03 February

Woman in Portugal swept away by sea wave

GMT 10:29 2016 Monday ,29 August

Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes

GMT 10:37 2017 Wednesday ,11 January

Offers services to Trump

GMT 01:36 2017 Wednesday ,06 September

Saudi minister slams Hezbollah as ‘party of Satan’

GMT 23:52 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

3 mosques shut down in France on radicalism grounds

GMT 07:57 2016 Saturday ,19 November

Garcia, Molinari top in Dubai golf

GMT 09:42 2017 Wednesday ,18 October

Ahmed Mekki aspires to present a new song

GMT 10:35 2016 Saturday ,15 October

Agreement in Kigali on phaseout of HFC gases

GMT 21:56 2016 Wednesday ,01 June

WHO Declares End of Ebola Virus in Guinea

GMT 23:03 2015 Sunday ,23 August

Goodbye to 'The Vampire Diaries' at TCAs

GMT 13:44 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Owen and Luke Wilson’s father dies at 76

GMT 11:03 2016 Monday ,24 October

Vietnam to list beer companies in quest for cash

GMT 05:00 2017 Wednesday ,26 April

Petrochemical shares drag Tadawul lower
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday