Conflict gold to criminal gold: the new face of artisanal gold mining in Congo | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2012
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

The objective of this research report was to establish whether, and to what extent, post-conflict efforts at national, regional and international levels are improving the situation of artisanal gold-mining communities in the provinces of Orientale, North and South Kivu, and Maniema in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The research proceeded from the assumption that legal and regulatory instruments and institutions created after the 2006 elections to regularise and support the DRC’s informal mining sector should now be starting to show positive effects. This report sought to verify that assumption.

Key recommendations

stop the criminal exploitation of the gold-mining sector: the government must act to halt the increasingly criminal exploitation of artisanal and small-scale miners by a plague of government bureaucrats, officials and security agents – and end the illegal export of almost 100% of the gold produced in the east
provide adequate physical protection to miners: if the government provided adequate physical protection to artisanal and small-scale miners – by reallocating funds to support legitimate army regiments – gold production would increase and so would the sector’s impact on individual livelihoods and the region’s economy
Protect artisanal and small-scale gold miners from racketeers: the government needs to tackle the racketeers, who are buying the miners’ gold at unfairly low prices and selling them food, tools and other merchandise at hugely inflated prices – and leaving them constantly digging for survival
reorganise or close SAESSCAM: the Service for the Assistance and Supervision of Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (SAESSCAM) was established to support miners but its underpaid – or often unpaid – agents simply extort ‘taxes’, ‘levies’ and other ‘fees’ without providing any services in return. The government must totally restructure the institution or close it down

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