Freeport McMoran versus the People of Fungurume: How the largest mining investment in DRC has brought poverty not prosperity | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 2012
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The Tenke Fungurume Mining (TFM) company controls a 1,600 square kilometre mining concession in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Tenke Fungurume deposits make up one of the most important reserves of copper and cobalt in the world with abundant quantities of high assay ore.

This report looks at a consultation with a wide range of officials, members of institutions, groups and organisations, and other interested individuals living in the concession area about the impact of the TFM mine on their lives and livelihoods.

Previously, the main source of income in the region was agricultural produce. However, farmers have lost their fields – without adequate compensation in most cases – and now struggle to find good vacant land for their crops because almost all the most fertile agricultural land is located within the concession area, and TFM does not allow the former owners to farm there.

The same problem applies to artisanal miners, who are denied access to the source of their livelihoods. People living within the concession even have trouble collecting stone or wood for construction because everything – even natural resources like rocks and trees – belongs to TFM.

This loss of traditional livelihoods has not been compensated for sufficiently by the provision of extra funds or of jobs on the mine. Indeed, the general expectation that TFM would employ local labour and use local contractors does not appear to have been met.

Recommendations to TFM

TFM must improve its consultation with the local population to ensure that social projects have a long-term positive impact on surrounding communities
TFM must increase the transparency of the Social Development Fund and directly involve the population in decision-making
TFM must urgently close down Camp Bravo to ensure employees live with the local community and to boost the local economy
TFM must favour the emergence of a local middle class by granting sub-contracts to local operators
TFM must give the inhabitants access to fertile agricultural land for their subsistence and encourage local agricultural production and co-operatives
TFM must allow the inhabitants to collect local construction materials such as stone and wood

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