Does Gold Mining Matter?
Mises Daily: Friday, August 14, 2009 by Robert Blumen
ArticleCommentsAlso by Robert Blumen
What Determines the Price of Gold?
The outlooks of gold analysts are diverse. After reading the latest WGC report, Mineweb is bullish: "Gold demand tops US$100 billion and mine supply remains under threat." John Nadler, however, is bearish, citing the expected "additional 400–500 tonnes per annum" that will result from the exploration boom of the last few years. Tom Barlow even asks, "Are we running out of gold?"
I choose these examples not to pick on these authors. I could have just as easily chosen a hundred other examples: the vast majority of analysts who cover the gold market focus on mine supply as one of the main drivers of gold-price forecasts. I use these examples only to illustrate the ubiquity of this view.[1] However, while analysts need something to analyze — and the mining industry provides many analytical complexities — ultimately, their efforts are wasted. Mine supply has very little influence on the price of gold.
Anyone who agrees that the gold trade is a market would accept the premise that the price depends on supply and demand. Where most analysts go wrong is to analyze gold using what I will call the consumption model. This model counts the current year's mine production plus scrap (and, in some versions, central-bank sales) as supply, and the current year's purchases of jewelry, coins, bars, and industrial gold as demand.
Gold and the Consumption Model
The consumption model is good way to forecast the price of a commodity that meets two conditions:
1.    it is destructively consumed (or spoils), and
2.    the annual production of the commodity is large in relation to existing, above-ground stockpiles.
Oil is a good example of a commodity that meets these conditions. It is refined and then irreversibly combusted. The oil price must enable the market to clear more-or-less current production with current consumption, buffered only by the oil sitting on tankers and in underground reserves. Reserves cannot do not hold more than a few months' supply, due to the high rate of oil consumption in relation to the storage capacity.
The consumption model does not explain price formation of a commodity where the two conditions are not met, because owners of the existing stocks own much more of the commodity than the producers bring to market. Consequently, they have far more influence over the price than do producers. Gold is the best example of such a commodity: gold is not consumed; people buy it in order to hold it; gold has the largest ratio of stock to annual production of any commodity.
In fact, it is estimated that nearly all of the gold ever mined in human history still exists. This supply grows by only 1 to 2 percent on an annual basis; or, if we look at the ratio from the other side, approximately 50–100 times the annual mine production is held in stockpiles.[2]
The consumption model would hold true if each year's gold were segregated into its own market, with no arbitrage from previous years' markets. But this is not the case: everyone who is buying, selling, and holding forms a single, integrated market. A buyer doesn't care whether he receives gold mined within the past year.[3] Gold miners are competing with all of the holders of gold stockpiles when they sell. Contrary to the consumption model, the price of gold does clear the supply of recently mined gold against coin buyers; it clears all buyers against all sellers and holders. The amount of gold available at any price depends largely on the preferences of existing gold owners, because they own most of the gold.
Looking at the supply side of the market, each ounce in someone's stockpile is for sale at some price. The offered price of each ounce is distinct from that of each other ounce, because each gold owner has a minimum selling price, or "reservation price," for each one of their ounces. The demand for gold comes from holders of fiat money who demand gold by offering some quantity of money for it. In the same way that every ounce of gold is for sale at some price, every dollar would be sold if a sufficient volume of goods were offered in exchange. While some dollar owners are not interested in owning gold at any price, those who are interested have a maximum buying price for each ounce that they might purchase. You can think of their buying prices for gold ounces as their reservation price for holding dollars.
How the Price of Gold Is Formed
Rothbard provides a detailed, bottom-up analysis of price formation in a market like this. I will demonstrate his model with a sequence of diagrams that show how the dollar price of gold is formed. As a first step, suppose that while gold trading had been suspended for some time, the preferences of some of the gold owners and nonowners changed. Thus, when the market opens, some of them wish to buy while others wish to sell.
Rothbard constructs supply and demand curves using the reservation prices of the individual buyers and sellers. The supply curve at each price is the total amount of gold ounces for sale by all gold owners at or above that price. The demand curve at each price is the total amount gold ounces that could be purchased with the dollars offered at that price (or below that price). The market-clearing price is that point where supply and demand are balanced.
When trading opened, the market participants would converge on market-clearing price. Once a price had been established, all of the buyers offering at or above that price would buy, and the all of the sellers asking at or below that price would sell. Trading would continue until no one wanted to exchange gold for dollars or dollars for gold. At that point in time, the market will have cleared. 
After trading, everyone has adjusted gold and dollar balances to their preferred levels. The market would show two quoted prices for gold: the best bid and the best offer. The best bid is the price offered by the marginal nonbuyer of gold, and the best offer is the price asked by the marginal nonseller of gold. More trading could occur only if a buyer increased their bid price, or a seller decreased their ask price, for at least one ounce.

Suppose that, from this new starting point, one gold owner lowered his asking price for one of his ounces below the best offer of the most marginal seller. A trade would then take place between the gold owner and the marginal seller. What would the situation be after the trade? The same as before, except that the best bid and best offer prices mightbe different. The new prices would depend on the reservation price of the buyer of the single ounce. If his reservation price were above the best bid but below that of the next most marginal seller, then the new buyer wouldbecome the marginal seller and would set the best offer price. But his reservation price might be much higher — enough to make another one of the existing gold owners the new marginal seller.
The miner is different from other gold owners in that he produces gold, while the other owners bought their gold. But from a price-formation standpoint, it doesn't matter how or where it came from; the miner can choose a reservation price, or not. Most miners do not have a reservation price; they sell at market.[4]
The gold analysts and I agree that, in a market, the marginal buyer and seller set the prices. It is also true that the miner is always a marginal seller because they sell at market. However, the entire population of suppliers and demanders must be considered in order to identify who the marginal buyers are and the price where the trades take place. All of the demanders influence the price through their decision not to offer a higher price. All of the (nonmine) suppliers influence the price through their decision not to ask for a lower price. To sell at market means to sell at the price set largely by those buyers and sellers who do have reservation prices. The problem with the consumption model is that it ignores the influence of the majority of sellers on the price.
How does the presence of sellers selling at market affect the price? 
Once the miner has sold his stocks, we are back to the situation shown in Figure 2. What was the freshly mined gold is part of the new buyer's stockpile. There will be a new bid and ask price, which will take into account the reservation price of the person who bought the miner's gold. We cannot say whatthe new bid and ask will be: either could be above or below the price before the miner sold.
Some Objections
Now that I've explained how the price of gold is determined in the market, I will look at two of the objections I have received when I have presented the ideas above:
Mine supply is the only supply available to the market, because gold investors are primarily of the buy-and-hold mindset.
If gold buyers typically have long holding periods, then is gold like oil that was burned or corn that was eaten? Is it gone forever and not part of the market?
Every asset is for sale at some price. While many small gold coin and bar buyers have a reservation price that is more than $10 above today's price, they do have a reservation price. There is a point at which other assets (stocks or bonds) or consumption goods (cars or houses) would start to look more attractive than holding the marginal ounce of gold. There can be no doubt that a good many gold owners would become sellers at $5,000, $10,000, or $100,000 per ounce.
Existing stocks of gold don't affect the price because they are not for sale at the current price.
On closer examination, this is not really an argument: it is only a restatement of the definition ofprice. A price in a cleared market is that quantity of money below which nothing is offered for sale. While this is true, it does not provide any information about what the price will be. As discussed above, the price at which the first mined ounce is sold is set by the marginal nonseller and nonbuyers of gold.
Suppose, for example, that all of the gold owners had a reservation price of $5,000 or higher per ounce, with the buy prices of people holding dollars remaining where they are now. If that were the case, then once miners had sold their gold, gold would be offered at around $5,000 per ounce.
While mining doesn't have much impact on the gold price, the reverse is not true: the gold price has significant influence on the mining industry. The economics of mining explains this. The cost of getting the gold out of the ground is sensitive to several factors, including the grade of the deposit, its depth below the surface, proximity to refining infrastructure, the cost of energy, the cost of labor, and other variables. The marginal cost of mining more gold above current production rises rather sharply. It would not be profitable for the gold-mining industry to increase production enough to have much impact on the total gold supply during any given year.

The consumption model of gold pricing ignores the influence of the majority of sellers on the price of gold. It counts only a minority of the sellers. The consumption model does include "scrap sales" (sales by those sellers whose reservation price was low enough to result in a sale). But the suppliers who did not sell outnumber those who did — by a large margin — and the selling price of those who did sell was primarily determined by those who did not.
Robert Blumen is an independent enterprise software consultant based in San Francisco. Send him mail. See hisarticle archives. Comment on the blog.
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[1] The sole exception that I can think of is a report from Credit Agricole,Download PDF authored by Paul Mylchreest.
[2] You must register with the World Gold Council to download their supply and demand data. For a comprehensive set of statistics, including the total above-ground stockpiles, see Gold Market Knowledge.Download PDF
[3] The time window of one year is entirely arbitrary — why not one week?
[4] Some miners sell at a predetermined price because they have entered into hedging contracts. This price could be above or below the market. Other miners (though very few) do have a reservation price. These miners stockpile gold if it is above their reservation price.

Congo (Kinshasa)

Centre de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (C.R.G.M.)

Travel and accommodation

The DRC is Africa's largest copper producer and the world's largest cobalt producer. Its mining sector contributes 22% of GDP and 28% of government revenue.

The contribution of mining to total exports in 2010 amounted to 78.3%

Congo (Kinshasa) Mining News

Maps and images

The DRC's formal economy is dominated by the mining sector. Minerals account for the vast majority of exports and represent the single largest source for foreign direct investment (FDI). Growth slowed in the second half of 2008 due to renewed strife and the fall in world market prices. The country is endowed with vast potential natural mineral resources including cobalt, copper, cadmium, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore and coal. The DRC is the world’s largest producer of cobalt and naturally occurring industrial diamonds accounting for 41.6% and 30.7% respectively of total global output. It is also the seventh largest producer of gem diamonds (5.7%) and a major producer of copper (1.5%). Within Africa in 2008 it was the leading producer of tin (65.4%), is ranked second for copper (23.1%) and tungsten (26%), third for silver (10.2%) and coltan metals (11.9%), fifth for zinc (3.07%) and equal sixth for gold (2.18%). In 2007 the DRC was estimated to have over 48% of the world’s cobalt and about 26% of the industrial diamond reserves. Diamond production, which is totally artisanal, increased by an estimated 17.4% in 2008. During the same period production of cobalt increased by an estimated 20.8%, copper increased by 54.7% and tin increased by 32.6% whereas silver output halved. Gem and industrial-grade diamond sales were around US$875 million in 2008 accounting for about 10% of D.R.C.'s export revenue.

Oil & Gas
DRC is a relatively small producer of hydrocarbons. As of the beginning of 2009 it was estimated to have proven reserves of 24.5Mt of crude petroleum and 991.1 million m3 of natural gas.

Key Minerals

The Copperbelt area (estimated to contain 55.5m tonnes of copper and 3.6m tonnes of cobalt), which runs through Katanga contains 34% of the world’s cobalt resources and 10% of the world’s copper resources, and during the 1960s and 1970s the DRC was the world’s leading producer of these metals. Copper concessions were formerly managed by Générale des Carriers et des Mines (Gécamines), the state owned parastatal mining company. Since the 1990s the facilities of the Gécamines (currently managed by SOFRECO) have seriously deteriorated, and production in Katanga stagnated with total capacity utilisation estimated at less than 10%, and an alleged external debt of US$2.5 billion. However, Katanga is currently witnessing something of a renaissance with several industrial mines already in production (e.g. Anvil Mining, First Quantum Minerals, Metorex, Forrest, et cetera.) and some massive new plant facilities are in the construction phase (e.g. Katanga Mining, CAMEC, Nikanor’s DCP, Freeport McMoran’s famous Tenke Fungurume Mine) Investment is really booming and the Cadastre Minier has recorded data for 792 granted concessions in Katanga – 70 new ones in the last six months alone, and there are currently 207 mining companies established in Katanga. However, as noted by the recent DfID trade flows study, one of the greatest challenges is the endemic corruption, the involvement of the military and local authorities in the illegal mineral trade, and the failure to enforce the rule of law. There is a general consensus from most agencies that around 60% of mineral produce passes through illegal channels, through Kasumbalesa on the Zambian border (with small amounts passing westwards via Lake Moero). 

Staniferous minerals (Coltan and Cassiterite) are widely distributed in the Eastern DRC, particularly throughout the Kivus and Maniema. Key mining areas in the Kivus and Maniema include Bunia, Kalima, Lugushwa, Masisi, Walikale, Kamituga and Mwenga, with most mining rights previously held by the state company Société Minière et Industrielle du Kivu (SOMINKI). These minerals occur in streambeds, alluvial deposits and soft rock, and are easily extracted by artisanal mining methods. Allegedly 75% of coltan within the DRC occurs within and around Kahuzi Biéga National Park which has created concerns regarding the destruction of the environment and protection of endangered species. 

The Enterprise Minière de Kisenge Manganese aims to raise manganese production by 40,000 tonnes per year from the Lulua basin in western Katanga. The company already has a stockpile of 540,000 tonnes of 47-50% manganese carbonate. 

Gold was first discovered in north eastern DRC in 1903 and a number of mining companies entered the region to exploit its resources. Following independence in 1960, the state nationalised many existing companies including the Belgian company Société des Mines d’Or de Kilo – Moto (SOKIMO) which became the Office des Mines d’Or de Kilo Moto (OKIMO), and around 400 tonnes of gold have been extracted from their concessions in Orientale. The three OKIMO concessions in Haut Ulélé and Ituri are believed to be particularly mineral rich by many in the industry. In the early 1990s OKIMO entered into arrangements with many multinational mining companies including AngloGold Ashanti, Mwana Africa and Moto Gold Mines. At present gold exploration has been confined to the Kilo-Moto Goldfield (Orientale) with the above companies and also the Canadian major Barrick, Banro Corporation in the Twangiza Namoya gold belt (Sud Kivu and Maniema) and the South African major Gold Fields Ltd and Cluff Mining in the Kisenge area in Katanga. 

Diamonds were first discovered in the DRC in 1907 in the Kasaï region and the DRC is currently the third largest exporter by volume with diamonds having the highest relative revenue contribution to Congolese mineral exports. The DRC is recognised as one of the leading sources of alluvial diamonds, principally from Kasaï Occidental, with kimberlite diamonds occurring more sporadically in locations within the southwest, northern and northeastern areas. The principal areas include Mbuji-Mayi (Kasaï-Orientale), Tshikapa (Kasaï Occidental) and Kisangani (Orientale). Large deposits are also found in Orientale (Bafwasende and Watsa), Équateur (Gbadolite), Kasaï Orientale (Lodja), Bandundu (Tembo), Maniema (Puna and Lubutu) and Tselha and Louzi in Lower Congo Bas. One of the major players in diamond mining in DRC is La Société Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) an 80% state owned company with a 78,000 km 2 concession area; although after production fell 80% in 2006 (2.22 million carats with only four shipments and around 6% gem quality) leaving 6,500 employees unpaid MIBA has been bankrupt, and Sengamines (previously with Oryx Natural Resources and now Enterprise Minière de Kasaï Orientale (Emikor)) halted production at Tschibue in 2005. Many larger companies are exploring Kasaï Oriental, with First African Diamonds gaining access to the 800 km2 Eminkor concession, BHP Billiton and Southern Era Diamonds have access to a 16,000 km2 concession, and De Beers (who held a virtual monopoly on diamond production until 1997) and twelve local companies having access to concessions covering 60,000 km2 Other companies include Alrosa, Pangea DiamondFields, Gee-Ten, and BRC Diamond Corp. In 2004 a new polishing plant opened at Kananga (Emaxon Finance International and Dan Gertler International (DGI)) and more recently Mwana Africa acquired a 20% stake in MIBA (through Umicore’s subsidiary Sibeka) a company that already owns Gravity Diamonds.


  • BHP Billiton is investigating a bauxite deposit in the country's southwest Bas-Congo province, near the Inga hydropower station on the Congo river with the view of opening up a mine and refinery. BHP Billiton already produces aluminum at refineries in South Africa and Mozambique, where it secured cheap supplies of power from Eskom. The company and the DRC government announced in October, 2007 that they are together investing about $8bn in a planned hydro power station at Inga and smelter. The DRC government was planning the giant Inga 3 power plant on the Congo River to produce a maximum of about 4,000 megawatts. BHP Billiton signed an agreement with the government to fund the project's feasibility study in exchange for up to 2,000 megawatts of its power to keep its smelter running. Production would be about 800,000 t of metal. Timing of first production depended on when the power station was built as the building of a power plant takes a minimum of five years and an aluminium smelter around three years.


YearProductionUnit of Measure% Change
200214600Metric tons, cobalt contentNA
200314800Metric tons, cobalt content1.37 %
200420200Metric tons, cobalt content36.49 %
200524500Metric tons, cobalt content21.29 %
200627100Metric tons, cobalt content10.61 %
200725400Metric tons, cobalt content-6.27 %
200832300Metric tons, cobalt content27.17 %
200935500Metric tons, cobalt content9.91 %

Africa produces 42% of the world’s cobalt. Cobalt is produced primarily from the Zambian/DRC Copperbelt along with copper and as a by-product of the Bushveld Platinum mines in South Africa.


Click HERE for an overview

YearProductionUnit of Measure% Change
200227500Metric tonsNA
200330300Metric tons10.18 %
200431800Metric tons4.95 %
200544200Metric tons38.99 %
200683000Metric tons87.78 %
2007108000Metric tons30.12 %
2008189000Metric tons75.00 %

For over 70 years, the Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo has been an important producer of copper and cobalt to the world markets. In the 1980s, the country’s copper output amounted to around seven per cent of global production.
Since the early 1990s, the unstable social and political environment in the country has led to a gradual decline in production. Without ongoing maintenance, the condition of most of the facilities has deteriorated and production has declined to virtually zero.
Following independence from Belgium, the mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo were nationalised in 1967 and became owned by Gécamines (La Générale des Carrières et des Mines), a state owned mining company.
    • Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation plc (ENRC) produces and processes copper and cobalt ore, and includes a road logistics business operating in Central and Southern Africa and a number of development projects in coal (Mozambique), bauxite (Mali), platinum (Zimbabwe) and fluorspar (South Africa). Boss Mining is responsible for the copper and cobalt mining and processing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the state-owned Gécamines as a minority (30%) partner. The operations include open cast mines, crushing, beneficiation, concentrator plants and an electro-winning facility.  Assets also include:SMKK holder of exploration permit assets contiguous to the Group’s existing operations in the DRC.  ENRC owns 100% of SMKK.In January 2012, ENRC agreed to pay $1.25bn to settle a long-running dispute with Canada's First Quantum Minerals over assets in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ENRC sparked uproar when it bought the Kolwezi copper mining project in the war-ravaged African country. The operation had belonged to First Quantum but it had been seized by the DRC government, which accused the Canadians of contract violations. City analysts said ENRC's action had alienated shareholders and several big investors, including Standard Life, sold their holdings in protest. The agreement was struck on the basis that First Quantum drops all legal claims against the DRC and ENRC; the DRC has also pledged to terminate its claims against First Quantum. 
    • Tenke Mining Corporation (Canadian) has completed a feasibility study for the first phase of production at the Tenke Fungurume copper/cobalt project in Katanga Province. Facilities have been designed to initially produce approximately 115,000 metric tonnes per annum of London Grade A quality copper cathode and 8,000 tpa of cobalt in any combination of cobalt metal or intermediate cobalt hydroxide. Freeport-McMoran, who now controls operations, announced in May 2007, that the mine is to start up in October 2008 and would ship copper first. Shipment of cobalt hydroxide, an intermediary product, would begin in December 2008. Tenkwe is owned 24,75% by Tenke Mining Corp, 57,75% by Freeport through Phelps Dodge Corporation ("Phelps Dodge") and 17,5% by Gecamines, the DRC State mining company. Lundin Mining Corporation (LUN.TO, AMEX:LMC) and Tenke Mining Corp. announced on 10 April 2007 that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine the two companies to form an intermediate base metals company. The 40-year mine plan is based on first developing the Kwatebala, Fwaulu and Goma deposits. Proven/probable ore reserves developed by Phelps Dodge to U.S. SEC standards for these three areas are 103 million metric tonnes, grading 2,1% copper and 0,3% cobalt (proven 22 million tonnes grading 2,2% copper and 0,30% cobalt, probable 81 million tonnes grading 2,1% copper and 0,31% cobalt). During 2006, approximately 16,000 meters of drilling was performed under the direction of Phelps Dodge for infilling, reserve confirmation, step-out exploration and condemnation. During the 2006 drilling program, mineralization in three new areas just west of Kwatebala was discovered (Mwinansefu, Ditoma and Shinkusu). Concession exploration for 2007, which includes further resource definition drilling at these new areas, is budgeted to accomplish approximately 45,000 meters of drilling. The intent is to have significant additional proven/probable ore reserves defined by the time the initial facilities go into operation to support potential expansions in the early years of initial operations. In accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 standards, the Measured and Indicated Resources for the Tenke Fungurume concessions are 235 million tonnes of 3,01% copper and 0,31% cobalt (Measured 126 million tonnes grading 3,44% copper and 0,33% cobalt and Indicated 109 million tonnes grading 2,52% copper and 0,28% cobalt), with Inferred resources providing an additional 265 million tonnes of 2,6% copper and 0,19% cobalt.
    Tenke Fungurume copper-cobalt mineralization

    • Nikanor plc, through the company’s joint venture agreement with Gécamines, owns mining permits for three open-pit mines in the DRC: KOV, Tilwezembe and Kananga. The company plans to redevelop these mines, bringing Tilwezembe and Kananga into production in the second half of 2006 and the second half of 2007 respectively, and KOV, the company’s principal asset, by the end of 2009. The KOV mine consists of 4 ore bodies: Kamoto, Oliveira, Virgule, FNSR. It was mined from 1960 to 2000 and 38 million tonnes of ore were mined at an average grade of 5,8% Cu. The resource estimate is 172 million tonnes of ore averaging 5,1% Cu and 0,5% cobalt; theestimated contained metal at 9 million tonnes copper, 800,000 tonnes cobalt. Planned estimated mine life is 30 years. The Kolwezi concentrator is currently processing ore from both Kananga and Tilwezembe. Resources are estimated for Tilwezembe: 5,7 million tonnes (indicated) at 5% copper, 1.0% cobalt, and for Kananga: 6,9 million tonnes (inferred) at 1% copper, 1,3% cobalt. Drilling to increase resources are taking place. Katanga Mining Ltd agreed in November, 2007,to buy Nikanor Plc for about $2 billion to create the world's largest cobalt producer and save both companies about $700 million.
    • Katanga Mining Ltd , in a joint venture with the Congolese state-owned mining company, Gécamines, is rehabilitating a major copper-cobalt mine at Kolwezi in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Production at the high-grade Kamoto Mine will begin in late 2007. Once fully operational, it will produce 150,000 tonnes of copper and 5,000 tonnes of cobalt a year at one of the world’s lowest operating costs. The Kamoto mine complex was one of the most productive parts of its operations. The Kamoto underground mine began operation in 1969. It produced an average of three million tonnes of ore a year during the 1980s and to date has produced 59,3 million tonnes of ore, with an average copper content of 4,21 per cent and an average cobalt content of 0,37 per cent. The open pit mines, Dikuluwe, Mashamba East and Mashamba West (together known as DIMA) began operation in 1975, 1984 and 1978 respectively. To date, 57,7 million tonnes of ore has been produced with an average copper content of 4,96 per cent and an average cobalt content of 0,16 per cent. At the peak of production in 1986, a total of 5,5 million tonnes was mined from these pits. By 1998, due to lack of funds, the pits were allowed to flood. No significant production has so far come from the Musonoie-T17 open pit mine. Central African Mining & Exploration Company plc obtained a 11,37% shareholding in Katanga Mining which was increased to 22% by a further purchase of shares on 4 May 2007. Katanga Mining has raised $150m towards its project in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a transaction that has a ten-year offtake agreement.
      The one-year loan from Glencore is at an interest rate of LIBOR plus four percent. Glencore can convert to loan into 9.16 million Katanga shares. Katanga has 78 million shares in issue.
      Glencore will buy 100% of Katanga's copper and cobalt output for a decade at market terms. Katanga Mining agreed in November, 2007,to buy Nikanor Plc for about $2 billion. The combined assets will have an annual output of 400,000 tonnes of refined copper and 40,000 tonnes of cobalt a year by 2011.
    • Katanga Mining's DRC/China copper/cobalt conundrum (Source: Mineweb)
    • Katanga agrees to sell DRC deposits to govt for $825m (Source: Mining Weekly)
    • DRC/Chinese/Katanga Mining copper/cobalt deal explained (Source: Mineweb)
    • Central African Mining & Exploration Company plc (CAMEC), who owns a copper and cobalt processing facility at Luita, Katanga Province, is exploring the C19, C21 concession areas, using existing data obtained from Gecamines and Union Miniere, with an indicated total resource of 1,5 million tonnes of copper and 500,000 tonnes of cobalt, contained in 70 million tonnes of ore. Camec built up a 22 per cent stake in Katanga Mining. It has also secured soft irrevocables for a further 54 per cent, including the 24 per cent stake held by George Forrest, the largest shareholder in Katanga and one of the powerbrokers in the DRC's mining industry. In August, 2007, Camec was about to make an £800m offer for Katanga Mining. Organic growth alone will enable Camec to produce some 100,000 tonnes of copper and between 6,000-12,000 tonnes of cobalt by the end of 2008. But by taking over Katanga, the company could be producing as much as 250,000 tonnes of copper, according to the company. The justice ministry released a statement at the end of August, 2007, detailing the revocation of the licences. It said C19 has reverted to state-owned miner Gecamines. Camec withdrew its bid for Katanga.
      Camec said in an overview of the company its Luita metallurgical plant in DRC would be supplied by concessions C19 and C21 and would produce at an annualised rate of 40,000 tonnes of copper and 6,000 tonnes of cobalt by March, 2008. However, the licences to these two concessions are amongst those revoked by the government. C19 is the most important to Camec. CAMEC announced in November, 2007, that it had formed an alliance with Prairie International Ltd, whose investors include the family of Israel's Dan Gertler, to develop the Mukondo deposit and four other areas in Democratic Republic of Congo. The joint venture company will own, operate and develop Mukondo Mountain as well as the mining concession areas previously known as C17, C18, C19 and C21. CAMEC will transfer its 80% stake in BOSS Mining, a DRC-registered company, into the joint venture company. BOSS holds half of Mukondo Mining and concessions C19 and C21, for which the government has revoked the licences. The matter is before the courts in the Congo. Central African Mining and Exploration plans to re-start production at what it says is the world's largest cobalt deposit Mukondo with its joint venture partner Prairie International at the beginning of 2008 to supply the market with 6,000 t of cobalt in 2008. The Mukondo deposit contains 350,000 t of cobalt, of which 250,000 t would be recovered over a period of 15 years.
    • Anvil Mining Ltd (AVM.TO, AVLMF.PK) (now Minmetal Resources Ltd) has one high-grade copper-silver open pit mine that has been in production since 2002, a high grade copper tailings retreatment operation that entered production in late 2005, and an advanced copper-cobalt project currently under evaluation. The Dikulushi mine, Lake Mweru, Katanga Province, has a resource (Dec 2004) of 2,44 million tonnes of ore averaging 7,9% copper and 208 g/t silver. Production in 2005 amounted to 17,816 tonnes copper, 1,7 million ounces silver at an operating cash cost of $0.42/lb Cu. The Mutoshi project includes the Kulu copper tailings mine and the Mutoshi copper-cobalt mine in the Kolwezi region. The estimated resource amounts to 255,000 tonnes of contained copper. In 2005,16,500 tonnes of copper were recovered. At the Kinsevere, Tshifufia, Tshifufiamashi projects, 50 km north of Lubumbashi, estimated resources are 1,582,000 tonnes of contained copper from ore averaging 3,8% copper. The company is also exploring prospects at Lungeshi and Kapulo. Anvil Mining forecast a 10 percent increase in 2008 copper production but a big drop for silver on Wednesday, as it announced record 2007 production from its three mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Toronto-listed miner expects to produce more than 55,000 tonnes of copper and 1.3 million oz of silver in 2008. That compares with 47,633 tonnes of copper and 2.45 million oz of silver in 2007. Anvil operates and has majority stakes in the Dikulushi copper-silver mine, Kinsevere copper mine, and Kulu copper tailings operation.
    Chalcopyrite ore at Kinsevere

    Mining begins at Kinsevere pit
    • International Barytex Resources Ltd (Canadian) holds an option to earn a 65% interest in the Shituru high grade copper-cobalt deposit located at Likasi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Shituru deposit is expected to support a high grade open pit mine with low operating cost and has untested underground potential. Barytex has an option to acquire up to an 86,67% interest in stages in East China Capital Investments Ltd. (ECCI) whose sole asset is an option to acquire a 75% share interest in the Shituru Copper-Cobalt deposit from Generale Des Carrieres et des Mines ("Gecamines"). When fully exercised the interests in the Shituru Property will be indirectly held as follows: 65% by Barytex, 25%, by Gecamines and 10% by the Optionors, Ever Noble Group Ltd. and Megatrend International Holdings Ltd (ENG-MIH). The zone of mineralization is approximately 800 m in strike length with widths of 17 meters for each of the zones exposed at surface.
    • Mwana Africa plc purchased Anmercosa Exploration (Congo) s.p.r.l. from Anglo American plc in early 2004. Anmercosa has mining exploration rights over approximately 10,000 square kilometres in the Katanga copper belt, which has showings of copper, zinc, cobalt and gold. As part of the purchase arrangements, Mwana Africa entered into a joint venture with Anglo American in respect of these mining exploration rights. Under the joint venture, Anmercosa is responsible for all feasibility study and other costs, and Anglo American has a carried interest in the joint venture. Anglo American may increase its stake in the joint venture if particular metal or mineral concentration is discovered, and will fund those discoveries to bankable feasibility study. Mwana Africa is also currently in negotiations with Gecamines, the DRC state copper mining company, relating to a previously worked copper/cobalt mine near Anmercosa’s exploration ground in Katanga. Production of copper/cobalt could begin soon after the finalisation of the agreement with Gecamines.
    • Africo Resources Ltd (Canadian, ARL.TO) is developing the Kalukundi Project located within the Kolwezi District of Katanga Province in the south-east of the DRC. The Kalukundi deposit has been defined through the evaluation of 4 fragments of Mines series rocks. An ore reserve of oxide materials has been defined within these 4 fragments of 7,8 million tonnes grading 2,44% Cu and 0,69% Co. The economics of the deposit are based on a production rate of 800,000 tonnes per year for nominal annual production of 16,400 tonnes per year copper and 3,800 tonnes per year cobalt.
    • Metorex reached an agreement with the Government of the DRC, La Generale et des Mines [“Gecamines”], and Sentinelle Global Investments (Pty) Ltd [“Sentinelle”] to mine and treat the high grade copper/cobalt orebody at Ruashi, and the Ruashi and Etoile stockpiles situated in the Katanga Province of the DRC in May 2004. Probable mineral reserves are 24,120,000 at a grade of 3,78% Cu and 0,79% Co. Planned eventual production is 45,000 tonnes of copper and 3,500 tonnes of cobalt per annum. Metorex increased its effective interest in the two-phase Ruashi project to 80% from 67.2% by buying out the private Sentinelle for R60m in cash and the issue of 12.5m shares at R21.35 each in March, 2007. State-owned Gecamines owns the other 20% of Ruashi. The company announced in July, 2007, that it had acquired 38.7% of Copper Resources Corporation (CRC) and a 5% stake in Miniere De Musoshi Et Kinsenda Sarl (MMK), a 75% owned subsidiary of CRC, for £42.85m, about R600m. Metorex said on 18 January, 2008, that it had unconditionally contracted to acquire a further 6,6% of Copper Resources Corporation, lifting its total holding to 45,6% of the firm. CRC holds a 75% interest in MMK which owns the Kinsenda, Musoshi and Lubembe copper deposits as well as various exploration permits in the southern portion of the Katanga Province of the DRC. Metorex is also drilling the Musonoi copper deposit, close to the two deposits the group is mining at Kolwezi.
    • Copper Resources Corporation (AIM:CRC) has three projects that include the Kinsenda copper restart project; completing a feasibility study at Musoshi, an underground copper mine, and starting exploration at Lubembe, an advanced copper exploration project. It has raised £56.3 million, by placing 45 million new common shares with Glencore International AG at 125 pence per share, which it said was enough to develop its three projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Glencore's stake currently represents 35.7% of the enlarged share capital of Copper Resources, which presently stands at 126,065,064 common shares in issue. On November 5, 2007, Metorex offered 73 of its shares for every 100 Copper Resources' shares with cash alternative, overvaluing the company's stock at £1.49 per share, with its CEO Charles Needham saying this would provide the company's shareholders with an exposure "to Metorex's established projects in the DRC and a diversified mineral portfolio". It was announced on the 20 November, 2007, that CRC will revoke the issue of 45 million shares to Glencore as Metorex prepared to issue documents to minority shareholders and made plans around CRC’s assets in the Congo.
      The board of AIM-traded CRC decided the independent directors Sam Jonah and Mitchell Alland –both of whom subsequently resigned their positions – had acted outside their mandate by offering the shares to the Swiss-based commodity trader.
      The motivation for the placing of shares with Glencore is not understood. It would have given Glencore a 36% stake in CRC just as Metorex launched its offer to mop up minorities' shares.
    • First Quantum Minerals Ltd acquired 100% of Adastra. Adastra was a listed international mining company with its principal asset being the Kolwezi Copper-Cobalt Tailings Project in the DRC. Due to the poor recoveries obtained from the conventional concentrating techniques used, valuable amounts of copper and cobalt were discharged into two tailings dams known as Kingamyambo and Musonoi. The two dams contain 112,8 million t of oxide tailings grading a remarkable 1,49 % copper and 0,32 % cobalt. The company is considering the construction of an initial 35,000 tonne per year copper facility and 5,800 tonne per year cobalt facility which would be designed to be expanded to 105,000 tonnes of copper per year and 17,400 tonnes of cobalt per year.
    The huge Kingamyambo tailings dam (above) is a smaller resource than the Musonoi tailings dam.
    Source: Adastra
    First Quantum is also developing the Frontier deposit, near the town of Sakania in the DRC, within 2 km of the Zambian border. The estimated resource is 161 million tonnes grading 1.17% copper (0.5% Cu cut-off) or 1.9 million tonnes of copper.

    Frontier Copper Mine
    • Ivanhoe Nickel and Platinum Ltd. (Ivanplats), controlled by Robert Friedland of Ivanhoe Mines, has rights to about 20,000 square kilometres and, besides the copper and cobalt at the Kalongwe copper-cobalt project 10 kilometres north of Tenke Fugurume, also plans to develop the Kengere project, near the town of Kolwezi, which holds zinc, lead, silver and germanium. Investment banking sources expect an initial public offering of Ivanplats shares in 2007 with a dual listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and in London.  Ivanplat's 95%-owned Kamoa property hosts a large stratiform copper deposit on the Central African Copper belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) Katanga province. Sitting roughly 270 km west of the provincial capital, Lubumashi, Kamoa represents one of the more promising undeveloped copper deposits worldwide in terms of tonnage and grade. The company has delineated 348 indicated tonnes grading 2.64% Cu — representing roughly 9.2 million contained tonnes — in addition to 462 million inferred tonnes averaging 2.72% Cu. The resources are defined over a 20-km-by-15-km wide zone contained primarily within an area where Ivanplats has acquired its exploitation licenses, which were granted in late August and carry a 30-year term. The company has agreed to sell an additional 15% of the project to the DRC government, which will bump domestic ownership to 20%. Ivanplats completed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on Kamoa that modelled a US$2 billion mine with a 61-year life. The operation would run at an average throughput rate of 5 million tonnes per year, and produce roughly 143,000 tonnes of copper annually over the first 10 years at cash costs totalling $1.19 per lb. At a $3.50 per lb copper price, the PEA returns a $2 billion after tax net present value and 21.5% internal rate of return, assuming a 10% discount rate. The company intends to spend roughly US$70 million over the next two years at Kamoa on drilling and modelling work.
    • TEAL Exploration & Mining Incorporated (Canadian, TSX:TL; JSE:TEL) is exploring the Kalumines Copper-Cobalt Project, a joint venture with La Générale des Carrières et des Mines ("Gécamines"), which comprises approximately 77 square kilometres. The project area hosts four near surface areas of copper mineralization that the Company believes may be exploitable using open-pit mining techniques. Drilling, trenching and pitting were undertaken by previous owners and copper and cobalt mineralization was identified over a strike length in excess of 3 kilometres. The Company has agreed with Gécamines to conduct a drilling program to define the resource and to complete a feasibility study on the project by May 2007. TEAL announced in November, 2007, that its planned mining rate at the Lupoto Copper Project, which forms part of the Kalumines property was achieved in September, 2007. TEAL could also begin producing 12,000 tonnes of copper in early 2008 at the company's 70-percent owned Mwambashi copper project. TEAL Exploration & Mining said in February, 2008, that it had discovered copper and cobalt mineralisation in the Karu East block some 5 km SSE of the Lupoto Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Some of the drilling highlights include: 21 metres grading 2.57% copper; 39 metres grading 3.25% copper, including 15 metres at 0.46% cobalt; and 16 metres grading 0.33% cobalt, it said.
    • El Nino Ventures Inc (Canadian, ELNOF.OB, ELN.V) announced in May, 2007, that it had acquired a 70 percent interest in a Joint Venture Agreement with GCP Group Ltd, a private Congolese company. El Nino holds it's initial 70 percent interest in Research Permits No. 5214, 5215, 5216 and 5217. These permits were granted by the Cadastre Miner of the DRC and cover 352 square kilometers in the DRC-Zambian Copperbelt. The permits are located between Lubumbashi and Likasi.
    • Gecamines will contribute 10 million metric tonnes of copper deposits to a $6bn joint venture with two Chinese companies. he company will also contribute half a million tonnes of cobalt to a partnership that has been agreed with Sinohydro Corporation and China Railway Engineering Corporation. The two Chinese entities will own a 68% stake in the venture. Under the deal deal signed in January, 2008, by China's Exim Bank and the Kinshasa government, Congolese state miner Gecamines, China's Sinohydro Corp and China Railway Engineering Corp will create a joint mining venture with rights to two mining concessions.
      Together the Mashamba and Dikuluwe mines contain 10 million tonnes of copper and 2 million tonnes of cobalt, he said.
      The Chinese investment would be repaid with revenues from the joint venture, called Sicomines.
    • Katanga Mining's DRC/China copper/cobalt conundrum (Source: Mineweb)


    The Congo (DRC) is presumed to be Africa's largest diamond producer, but production figures are not available. Most of the DRC's production is produced by the informal sector. In mid-2004 the Kimberley Process struck the country off its list of certifiable diamond producers accusing it of dealing in blood diamonds which resulted in the DRC ceasing exports of diamonds. It is estimated that roughly a third of the DRC's production is smuggled out of the country every year.
    • Artisianal mining of placer diamond deposits in the DRC takes place along the Bushimaïe and Lubilash tributaries to the Sankuru River near the town of Mbuji-Maye (formerly Bakwanga) in the Kasaï-Oriental province of souther-central DRC, and along the Tshikapa River in the Kasaï-Occidental province.
    • Société Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA), which is a joint venture between Belgian company Sibeka (20%) and the DRC government (80%), owns the only functioning mine in the country, Mbuji Mayi. The shareholders of Sibeka were Umicore, 80% and De Beers, 20%. In May 2006 Mwana Africa plc acquired Umicore’s subsidiary, Sibeka. Over the past five years MIBA has produced an average of 6 million carats of diamonds per year. It has mining and exploration titles covering an area in excess of 45,000 km2 where it is discussing joint ventures with major diamond producers.
    • De Beers signed a confdentiality report with Oryx Natural Resources as part of a due diligence exercise for the possible development of the Sengamines diamond concession in 2004.
    • BRC Diamond Corporation (Canadian and in which gold junior Banro holds a 27,5% stake) controls 5,426 square kilometres and retains a further 11,100 square kilometres through option agreements on ground that historically has been the largest diamond producing region of the DRC. The geology of the region represents an extension of the Angola Craton, which underlies the diamond fields of Lunda Norte Province, in northeast Angola. The company is involved in early stage exploration of both the kimberlite and alluvial potential of the area. By the end of 2007, BRC proposed merging and acquiring all of the outstanding shares of Diamond Core , the South African diamond exploration company, in exchange for BRC shares. BRC had been awarded a further 58 diamond exploration permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the firm said in December, 2007. The Toronto-based company now holds directly, or controls through option agreements, a total of 116 exploration permits, covering an area of 38 140,5 km² in the provinces of East and West Kasai and Bandudu in the south, Equateur and Oriental in the north, and Maniema in the central-east of the DRC.
    • SouthernEra has secured 56 exclusive diamond exploration permits covering more than 16,000 square km in the diamond-rich Kasaï Provinces. This area is producing up to 20 million carats of diamonds per year. In a joint venture formed in October 2005 with BHP Billiton on 39 of SouthernEra’s 56 permits, exploration has commenced for primary diamond deposits. In May 2006, SouthernEra signed an agreement with Nyumba Ya Akiba SPRL, a local Congolese company, acquiring an immediate 74% undivided interest in eight exploration permits covering 2,744 km2 of diamond prospective ground in the Kabinda area of the Kasai Oriental Province. SouthernEra has also secured alluvial diamond permits within the Tshikapa / Kasai / Luebo alluvial diamond field in the Kasaï-Occidental Province, and also within a second major alluvial diamond field in the Kasaï-Oriental Province. SouthernEra controls a 34 kilometre stretch of Kasai River and 2 kilometres of the Tshikapa River within this diamond producing area of southwestern DRC. SouthernEra owns a 100% interest in four permits covering 80,35 km2 and a 70 percent interest in a further four permits covering 77,73 km2.
    • Gem Diamonds holds various concessions in the Mbelenge, Lubembe, Longatshimo and Tshikapa areas in the Kasai Occidental Province, and the Mbelenge area to the north of this. The Mbelenge project comprises four concessions, each with mining permits, along the Kasai River from the port of Djoku Punda, south for approximately 20km. The Lubembe project comprises 22 concessions on the Tshiumbe and Lubembe Rivers. The area was previously prospected in some detail with small alluvial mines established. Lubembe is considered to have significant kimberlite potential with 17 targets identified in a limited survey in 2005. The Longatshimo project comprises 12 concessions on or around the Longatshimo River, with a combination of mining and reconnaissance permits. The Tshikapa project hosts two concessions on the bank of the Tshikapa River each with mining permits.
    • African Diamonds plc (AFCDF.PK, also active in Botswana, Guinea, Sierra Leone), the AIM and Botswana-listed diamond explorer, has acquired a 35,42 percent share in Bugeco S.A., a private Belgian company and with it, the right to appoint a director. The total consideration paid was $1,616,420 in cash. The key asset of Bugeco is a joint venture with De Beers on 21 licences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), covering 807 000 hectares of prospective diamondiferous ground. Initial exploration has discovered several new kimberlites, in an area where alluvial diamonds are already in evidence. Analysis indicates the presence of microdiamonds in several of the newly discovered kimberlites, n what appears to be two new kimberlite clusters. Reconnaissance magnetic and detailed airborne magnetic (DAF) geophysical surveys have been completed over the entire licence area and ground magnetic, gravity and electromagnetic surveys over specific anomalies have resulted in the identification of new drill targets. Extensive ground sampling using helicopter and vehicle access is ongoing. The 2007 work programme will focus on further discovery drilling and delineation. This work will prioritise bulk sampling.
    • Pangea Diamond Fields plc is exploring the the Yusufu and Ikulu alluvial projects on the Longatshimo River, and intends bulk sampling the properties. A plant site has been identified and an operational team is in the process of being assembled. The required plant has been designed and is currently being manufactured, with operations expected to commence mid 2007. It was reported in January, 2008, that a bulk sampling plant had arrived at Pangea Diamondfield's Longatshimo River project and plant construction was in progress.
    • Mwana Afica plc bought Australian firm, Gravity Diamonds, which has been exploring rights held by BHP Billiton in the Kasai Crater region, in November 2006, for $34m , and announced on March 16, 2007, a C$69.7 m share offer for SouthernEra which has adjacent properties.
    • Lindian Resources Ltd is exploring the Tshikapa diamond field, in the West Kasai region of the DRC. The area is about 600 km east-southeast of Kinshasa, the capital of DRC. The Tshikapa Diamond Project consists of four licence areas covering about 800 sq km.

    Gold in Congo (Kinshasa)

    Gold Home

    Historical background (1904-2012)
    The rise of gold-mining related abuses

    The earliest exploration for gold deposits in the DRC began in 1904, shortly after two Australian explorers working for the administration of King Leopold II discovered alluvial gold along the Angola River. The discoverers, Hannam and O’Brien, quickly recruited local workers to start exploiting this rich resource. Long before they found gold, King Leopold had issued decrees designed to maximise the exploitation of the Congo’s many natural resources. According to these decrees, each village chief would be subject to ‘prestations’ – a system that forced them to assist in the requisition of workers and porters, food, and construction material. The decrees also established the Force Publique, the police and security units composed of locals and led by European mercenaries, which enforced the King’s will by wielding the chicotte, burning villages, and torturing, flogging and raping villagers.

    By August 1906, Hannam and O’Brien reported a monthly output of 600 ounces of gold and they shipped the first consignment of gold to Brussels. Other gold veins were subsequently discovered in parts of eastern Congo, increasing the pressure to coerce locals into mining. During the First World War, the lives of the people of eastern Congo became even more difficult. The Belgian colonial authority forcibly recruited Congolese into the Force Publique to fight against the forces of German East Africa. To support the Belgian Congo’s military adventure, Congolese were forced to work as porters or to grow food for the soldiers. The colony could afford the military effort because of the ‘voluntary’ payment of taxes, and the Congolese Central Bank’s increasing intake of Ituri gold. Meanwhile, the Germans exploited the Sekenke Mine in Tanzania in order to finance their war effort.

    Little is known about the situation of Congolese gold miners after the First World War because international attention on the abuses perpetrated in the Congo subsided considerably once Leopold II was forced to cede control of the country to the Belgian government. Internal reporting by the colonial administrators provides some glimpses into the continuing abuses – including in the copper mines of Katanga, which were by far the most important sector of the mining industry – and reflect scandalously high mortality rates. David Northrup, who has researched the labour situation in the Congo extensively, concluded that the method of abuse changed over time but not the actual abuse: “expanding demands for labour brought many more people under some sort of coerced labour system. Thus, for the affected Africans, slavery had changed its form more than its character.”

    After the Congo gained independence in 1960, looting Congo’s gold became the pastime of the leaders of the government military and rebel groups. The Simba insurrection led by Christophe Gbenye took much of north-eastern Congo and established the ‘People’s Republic of the Congo’, making Kisangani (Stanleyville) the new capital. Gbenye occupied and looted the Moto mines around Watsa. According to Time magazine, he stole 1500 pounds of gold from the safe of the mining operations.

    When Joseph Mobutu seized power at the end of 1965, he consolidated the gold-mining operations of the eastern Congo under SOKIMO (or OKIMO) in which he integrated the industrial production of the Kilo and Moto gold mines. SOKIMO was soon known to be Mobutu’s personal piggy bank.

    Mismanagement led to the gradual dismantling of the industrial structures, and by the late 1980s OKIMO generated revenue only by taxing informal, artisanal and small-scale miners. The economic collapse was made worse by the First Congo War. Once Laurent-Désiré Kabila assumed leadership of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL) and launched an armed revolt with his allies Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), he systematically occupied and exploited the gold-rich mining areas. Long before he had deposed Mobutu and taken full control of the country, he started to sell gold concessions to the highest bidders.

    A new wave of violence, coerced labour and economic disruption crashed over the artisanal and small-scale miners with the Second Congo War. The occupying forces of Uganda and Rwanda raided the gold-mining centres of the east, followed by waves of Congolese militia groups. RCD-Goma, RCD-K-ML, RCD-K, MLC, UPC, FNI, FAPC, FPJC and finally CNDP and FDLR all occupied and looted the gold-mining centres and the surrounding villages. In some instances, they established quasi-administrations and issued new gold-mining permits. In all instances, they imposed taxes, coerced other payments, killed, maimed and took revenge on artisanal gold miners for the most spurious reasons.

    National and international reactions to gold-mining related abuses

    The horrors of the First and Second Congo Wars, and the Ugandan-Rwandan occupations of the country’s most important mining sites, mobilised significant resistance by Congolese civil society. Justice Plus, for example, organised a campaign against ethnic persecutions and the illegal exploitation of natural resources. Activists from local organisations, such as ASADHO-Beni, were routinely arrested for denouncing mining activities by Ugandan forces. Officers of the Ugandan military, their local allies from RCD-K-ML and other rebel groups attempted to silence this resistance. However, they did not succeed because many Congolese activists denounced these abuses and contributed significantly to raising national and international attention. One important milestone towards greater recognition of the atrocities linked with gold-mining was reached when Congolese researchers and investigators supported Human Rights Watch and its landmark report “The Curse of Gold” published in May 2005.

    Civil society campaigns against the untransparent and unfair allocation of mineral rights by rebel-leader-turned-President Lauren-Desiree Kabila had already started after the First Congo War. In the year 2000, SYPA was established in Butembo as a network of local groups, including the Catholic Church and civil society organisations of the Kivus. The organisation grew quickly to national stature and became an important actor in the Inter-Congolese Dialogue, which was one of the principal peace initiatives created under the Sun City Accord in 2002. The Inter-Congolese Dialogue helped to ensure that the Congo’s Transitional Parliament would set up a parliamentary investigative committee to look into, among other things, the links between mining contracts and the continuation of war.

    This critical initiative, which would eventually be known as the Lutundula Commission, received very little – or no – backing from representatives of the international community. According to the report of the Lutundula Commission, countries such as the United States, Canada, Belgium and others refused to grant members of the Commission visas to investigate in companies in their countries of origin that were suspected of feeding into the conflict and mining cycle in the DRC.

    The international community largely ignored Congolese efforts – at times even undermining them – in order to pursue its own ideas for resolving the Congo’s natural resource problems. A pivotal moment came when the Permanent Representative of the US to the UN, Richard Holbrooke, and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright decided that January 2000 (the month in which the US delegation was going to preside over the Security Council) would be dedicated to defining a global strategy to tackle the most persistent problems on the African continent.

    Holbrooke planned open meetings to discuss the conflicts in Burundi, the DRC, Angola and Sierra Leone and the scourge of AIDS. On 24 January 2000, the Security Council chaired by Albright welcomed the presidents of seven African countries; Laurent-Desire Kabila was the first president invited to the round table of the Security Council, followed by the presidents of Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola.

    Kabila had funded his long years hidden away in the Itombwe Mountains of South Kivu in part by gold smuggling and other commercial activities. When he went to war to oust Mobutu, the military forces of Rwanda and Uganda were important allies. Eventually they turned against each other, and the Second Congo War turned into a vicious war of attrition. Rwanda, Uganda and their Congolese allies were involved in resource extraction as they fought the Kabila regime. The fact that Kabila paid his foreign allies and their fighters with access to the Congo’s natural wealth did not stop him from stating bluntly to the Security Council: “Is there anyone here who is unaware of the systematic plundering of Congolese resources on and below the ground by the Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian occupiers? Their booty – wood, diamonds, gold, cobalt and zebras – is all being sold on the open market, including in some of the countries represented here today.”

    What is illegal?         

    With his reference to the ‘systematic plundering of Congolese resources’, Kabila set into motion a new dynamic in the conflict resolution dialogue. Following Kabila’s call for an intervention by the international community, the Security Council decided to send a mission led by Ambassador Holbrooke to Central Africa to define the steps to be taken in support of peace-making in the DRC. After a four-day blitz mission, Holbrooke and his colleagues delivered the defining report for all future Security Council actions on the Congo’s natural resources. The key recommendation was that the UN Secretary General should create a ‘UN Panel of Experts on the illegal exploitation of natural resources and other forms of wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’.

    A critical point in the language, which was first suggested by Kabila and expanded on by the Holbrooke mission, was the concept that the Congo’s natural resources were exploited ‘illegally’. This term introduced an extremely contentious concept and the Panel of Experts described its struggle to define illegality in its first report. The report offered four criteria to determine illegality: violation of sovereignty; respect by actors for the existing regulatory frameworks in the country or territory where they operate; discrepancy between widely accepted trade and business practices and the conduct of business in the DRC; and, the violation of international law, including ‘soft’ law. The Panel further stated that it was going to ‘utilize the aforementioned elements in a complementary manner, refusing to be exclusive or to focus on one single element’. However, the Panel’s subsequent reports revealed that their work focused on one single element – the fourth criteria, using definitions derived from the OECD’s emerging guidelines.

    Based on this definition, the Panel released a report on 16 October 2002 with annexes of names of individuals and companies that it accused of exploiting the Congo’s natural resources illegally. Subsequently, the OECD guidelines and the associated national contact points were supposed to assume an adjudicatory role. However, it never proved particularly effective, especially where companies or individuals from OECD member states were involved.

    The Panel’s work have had more legitimacy had there been less reliance on the OECD guidelines and more grounding in the laws of the Congo. There is not one attempt in the Panel’s report to define the documented abuses as violations of Congolese laws, although President Joseph Kabila had signed the new Congolese Mining Law on 15 July 2002, three months before the release of the UN Panel report.

    Apparently relying on emerging Congolese legal structures was not an option. Indeed, using Congolese legal structures to define a strategy against illegal exploitation of the country’s natural resources would remain unacceptable for years to come, as the fate of Ministerial Decree 2503 of February 2007 would demonstrate. The international community – especially the highly industrialised, mostly western members of the international community – wanted to build on the evolving standards of corporate social responsibility that were under development at the OECD at the time. However, the OECD’s voluntary Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises turned out to be ineffective in regulating the DRC’s mining sector. Eventually, investigations by the British NGO RAID revealed that virtually none of the companies and individuals identified by the Panel as being in violation of the OECD guidelines were subjected to any administrative procedure by their governments, as the OECD process promised.

    UN Sanctions against illegal exploitation of natural resources

    With the OECD process turning into a paper tiger, those in the DRC who had hoped to receive assistance from the international community in the rebuilding of a legitimate natural resource sector saw their options diminishing. By 2004, the UN’s natural resource Panel was discontinued, partly in response to heavy criticism of their evidentiary standards and methodology. However, the Security Council accepted one of their recommendations to impose an arms embargo on the Congo and established another UN Expert group to monitor compliance with the embargo. By 2004, the Group of Experts was appointed with a very narrowly defined arms embargo-monitoring mandate.

    While the natural resource panel had stirred up a lot of media attention, it was the new Group of Experts that convinced the Security Council in November 2005 to impose targeted UN sanctions against all major Congolese militia leaders and their affiliated businesspeople. The measures imposed on those most responsible for massacres in eastern Congo included the freezing of their assets and a travel ban. Although effective implementation of these measures would remain challenging, singling out these individuals as outcasts of the international community blocked their chances of ever achieving legitimacy.

    The Group also succeeded with its recommendations to the Security Council to further investigate individual culpability in the use of natural resource revenues to finance violations of the arms embargo. With the establishment of a hard standard for illegal exploitation of natural resources and strict evidentiary standards, people or companies ‘illegally’ exploiting or diverting minerals from eastern Congo moved into the crosshairs of targeted sanctions.

    Using the threat of UN sanctions certainly was a valuable addition to the arsenal against perpetrators of violence, but to achieve lasting peace and security the linkages between natural resource exploitation and trade had to be based on a stronger footing. Both the UN Panel and senior officials within the DRC Ministry of Mines had come independently to the same conclusion: enhanced institutionalised solutions, such as mechanisms to trace natural resource origins, were required.

    The Ministry of Mines and CEEC were already seeking ways to develop a certification system, but it may have been somewhat premature for the officials of the transitional government since the mineral deposits in both North and South Kivu, the eastern sections of Maniema and Katanga, and Orientale were beyond the authority of the government. Customs agents at border crossings, tax collectors, and the officials of the subsidiaries of the Central Bank in the eastern provinces, along with many other government functionaries, did not accept the transitional government’s authority. In Bunia, the local headquarters and operations of OKIMO were taken over by the Ituri rebels, who also took all income from the artisanal gold-mining sites situated on the parastatal’s three huge gold concessions. At the same time, FDLR, Mayi-Mayi and other groups overran the artisanal and small-scale miners operating within the concession areas of SOKIMO. So why were the new functionaries in Kinshasa interested in devising traceability and certification systems?

    During that pre-election chaos, it was evident that the Congo and its natural resource sector would never find peace and prosperity unless at least two conditions could be fulfilled. Firstly, physical security in all parts of the Congo was key. And secondly, property rights and trading mechanisms for natural resources had to be secured. The same conceptual approach dominated the UN Panel’s agenda: first monitor compliance with and investigate violations of the arms embargo; and second investigate diversions of natural resources and interdict the revenue streams to illegal armed groups whenever possible.

    By early 2007, the democratic multi-party elections had given Joseph Kabila the presidency. On 5 February 2007, days before the new government took over, the outgoing Minister of Mines, Professor Matthieu Kalele-Ka-Bila, signed Ministerial Decree 2503, which laid out the administrative processes for the certification of precious and semi-precious stones and minerals. The new law was unequivocal: without CEEC certification, no minerals or stones could be exported. To further buttress the Congolese effort, the Group of Experts made two key recommendations in its next report. It recommended that the international community should provide financial, technical and administrative support to the implementation of the Congolese law. It also recommended that companies that could not demonstrate adequate due diligence practices should be sanctioned.

    Parallel to this development, Belgium, the former colonial power, wanted to play a leading role in the development and implementation of a natural resource certification system. A task force of Belgian specialists was set up and a study group was begun to not only devise a tracking methodology for copper and cobalt, but also to establish a Lubumbashi-based commodity exchange. Belgium was one of the elected members of the Security Council at the time and used this position to develop a high profile on natural resource and conflict issues. Simultaneously, Belgian representatives to the UN became particularly hostile to the UN Group of Expert’s recommendation to support the Congolese natural resource certification mechanisms. They also rejected an effort to clarify due diligence principles for anyone involved with the Congo’s natural resources as well as the Group’s evidence for the dominant role that Belgian companies played in Congo’s natural resource trade.

    Belgium succeeded in the short-term in stopping the Experts’ efforts. However, thanks to an initiative by the German government, the original concept of supporting the DRC government’s certification mechanism finally succeeded. But it would take another three years (and another Panel) before the Security Council endorsed the recommendation to impose UN sanctions against anyone who could not demonstrate adequate due diligence in the trading of minerals from eastern Congo. It would also take another violent convulsion of the east, pitching the Congolese army (the FARDC) and the peacekeeping forces of MONUC (later MONUSCO) against the renegade CNDP forces under General Laurent Nkundabataware and against the FDLR. Nkunda’s troops took control of numerous mining sites, collected taxes and imposed fees at will. Meanwhile, FDLR forces challenged the CNDP’s grab of mining properties and revenues. Mayi-Mayi militia forces and certain FARDC units pillaged, looted and raped with equal ferocity. In the two-year-long struggle, hundreds of thousands of Congolese fled and lost their belongings, thousands were killed, and untold numbers of girls and women were raped. Finally, as part of ‘Umoja Wetu’, Rwandan military forces arrested Nkunda in January 2009. Nkunda’s CNDP forces were then integrated into the FARDC under the leadership of General Bosco Ntaganda – another warlord who has been charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

    Since that last major war, armed confrontations have consisted of fighting bands of severely diminished FDLR, Mayi-Mayi and newly formed groups. Thankfully, these military operations have mostly been reduced to local and short-term fights, with casualty numbers distinctly lower than at any other time during the past 15 years.

    Due diligence politics of President Kabila

    While the UN Security Council embraced due diligence principals for certain minerals originating in eastern DRC with resolutions 1952 (2010) and 2021 (2011), the US Congress prepared its ‘Conflict Minerals Bill’. This measure is designed to force companies with SEC reporting obligations to disclose to the public if they import and use coltan (columbine-tantalite), cassiterite, wolframite and gold from eastern DRC. The bill was incorporated into the Dodd Frank Bill under section 1502 and signed into law by President Obama on 21 July 2010. But its final implementation rules were only approved by the SEC in August 2012 after a lengthy battle between activists and affected industry groups and lobbyists. 

    However, even without its application the ‘Obama Law’ had an impact within a few months of his signing it. President Kabila took advantage of the global attention and on 20 September 2010 signed Decree 705 suspending mineral exports, although only from South and North Kivu and Maniema. On the same day, he also signed Decree 706, listing the following requirements for Congolese institutions to fulfil before he would lift the export suspension suspension – although none of these requirements appear to have been fulfilled when he lifted the suspension six months later without any explanation:

    SAESSCAM and the Ministry of Mines must:

    1.       Deploy their agents along the entire chain beginning with the point of origin to the point of refining;

    2.       Identify artisanal miners and their cooperatives, and verify that they operate legally;

    3.       Propose, together with the mining cadaster, new artisanal mining zones;

    4.       Assist artisanal miners to reorganise into mining cooperatives;

    5.       Complete the establishment of Centre de Negoce; and,

    6.       Establish, together with international partners, a map of artisanal mining sites.

    The Mining Cadaster and the Directorate of Mines must:

    1.       Deploy officers in the three provinces;

    2.       Suspend all registry examinations of current applications in the three provinces;

    3.       Close application process for any new registration in the three provinces;

    4.       Examine, in collaboration with the mining services, whether – and how effectively – the development and construction of mining projects is proceeding and report to the Minister of Mines no later than 10 October 2010; and,

    5.       Initiate forfeiture of all holders of mining titles who are in default, regardless of their situation.

    The CEEC must:

    1.       Reinforce efforts at all levels in the fight against fraud and smuggling of mining products.

    The three provincial governments must:

    1.       Ensure that no minerals will move during the suspension period;

    2.    Ensure that mining services are ready to implement and manage all measures of the decree;

    3.       Ensure the effective deployment of the technical services of the Minister of Mines;

    4.       Identify all artisanal miners, traders, exporters, processing and refining facilities, as well as entities with mining permits;

    5.       Identify all artisanal and other mining sites;

    6.       Require accountability and verify the evidence for payment of taxes that were due by 1 January 2010 at the place of operation of the traders and exporters, and review all information about the origin of the funds that are used to buy minerals;

    7.       Verify whether funds were appropriately repatriated after minerals were exported since 1 January 2010;

    8.       Co-ordinate the government authorities in the fight against fraud in the mining industry;

    9.       Encourage permit holders to stay on schedule with their development and construction;

    10.   Apply sanctions in accordance with the law against anybody who contravenes the dispositions of the decree;

    11.   Organise a fund for the realisation of basic infrastructure; and,

    12.   Provide, within 30 days from the decree entering into force, an evaluation of supervision measures with a view towards the eventual lifting of the suspension.

    The SARW research found no evidence that any of the requirements listed in Decree 706 have been fulfilled. While SARW did not systematically research the precise details of the suspension order, it did collect anecdotal evidence. For example, Chinese buyers continued to export cassiterite, coltan and wolframite throughout the suspension – and did so at great profit. According to buyers in Goma and Bukavu, who abided by the suspension decree, buyers from TTT Mining and Huaying Trading exploited the growing desperation of artisanal cassiterite miners, who were afraid of losing their livelihoods and were willing to sell their product at significant discounts (of up to 80 percent compared to world market valuations).

    SARW has found no evidence of a stoppage in gold production and export. Since almost all gold still leaves the DRC illegally, it was predictable that gold exporters would ignore President Kabila’s suspension, although artisanal gold miners came under significant price pressures (losing on average 20-25 percent compared to their normal selling price).

    President Kabila’s decree appears to suffer from the same weakness as the ‘Obama Law’. Both can be characterised as being overly ambitious and too far removed from the realities on the ground. Both laws have delivered little improvement for artisanal and small-scale mining communities. The US Conflict Minerals law suffers from the additional problem that the SEC only operationalized its application in August 2012. Until the law is properly implemented and enforced, any possible impact is based on voluntary compliance by individual companies. 

    Hopes for the eventual success of the law are not high. Chinese buyers and manufacturers have already made it abundantly clear by their actions that they will not follow any due diligence. The front is already crumbling. SARW is aware of a number of other major buyers of cassiterite, coltan, wolframite, and gold who will not wait much longer before they start buying and exporting as well. Their reasoning is compelling: if the US Conflict Minerals Law only creates competitive advantages for those who can afford not to comply, the market is distorted and the law is not sustainable.

    There are other parallels between President Kabila’s ill-fated suspension and the US Conflict Minerals Law. Over the past 15 years, the cycles of violence have repeatedly demonstrated that the control of mining sites is never static. One month a site is occupied or exploited by a militia, the next it is ‘liberated’ by renegade FARDC forces that allow government administrators to do their work. In another month, no armed groups are present at all, but government agents start to exploit the artisanal miners. The possible exception to this pattern is Walikale in North Kivu. Since the beginning of the coltan boom in the late 1990s it has always been occupied by one or another illegally armed group. Successfully implementing the Conflict Minerals Law or fulfilling the requirements set forth in the suspension decree requires accurate, sustained and up-to-date monitoring of the situation in all mining regions at all times. No one has any illusions that the DRC government is currently living – or indeed can live – up to this responsibility.

    Gold mining in Maniema Province

    Of all the eastern Provinces of the DRC, Maniema is the most isolated and least populated. Its rich and highly diversified natural resource deposits attracted some investments during and immediately after the colonial period, including limited industrialised alluvial gold exploitation by Belgika Or and Symetain. Road connections from the surrounding provinces to Maniema are poor with ground transportation from Maniema to the most important regional trading gateways (including Kisangani to the north and Bukavu to the East) coming to a virtual halt during the rainy season. The railway network has been completely destroyed. Only a few local aviation companies provide links to the outside world, but the transport is provided with old aeroplanes that are inadequately maintained and do not meet accepted safety standards.

    Weak institutional structures make a mockery of the entire mining industry. There are not only statistical inconsistencies between reports from state agencies, but their data reflect such unrealistically low overall gold output (ranging from 7 to 29 kilograms per year) that the effort to compile data might as well be abandoned (see table 4). Provincial and national authorities do not reliably fulfil their supervisory role – for example, ensuring that gold traders and exporters are licensed and follow all legal requirements. The weakness of state institutions is demonstrated by the fact that of the 537 agents of the Provincial Mining Division who are supposed to be active, only 137 have received contracts so far. The rest are left in limbo regarding their authority and their income.

     Inconsistent statistical data about annual provincial gold production and exports

    Year/ Production - Provincial Mining Division/ Production - SAESSCAM/ Export - CEEC

    2007              29 097.7 gram                               n/a                               7 495.5 gram

    2008              15 712.9 gram                              3 975.9 gram                  8 267.9 gram

    2009              16 983.5 gram                               n/a                                15 035 gram

    2010               25 103.3 gram                              n/a                                      n/a

    2011               22 180.2 gram                               n/a                                     n/a

    However, industrial exploration and exploitation will soon increase in Maniema Province. The Australian company, Erongo Energy Limited, has acquired a 70 percent share of nine permits originally owned by Afrimines Resources. The company is run by a former Tiger Resources Executive and Klaus Eckhof, formerly of Motogold. Testing and drilling started in 2011 on some of the properties. The Erongo projects are to the west of Banro’s Namoya mine, which is situated in the border region near Salamabila. When the mine commences industrial operation in 2013 it will be Maniema’s most important industrial mineral exploitation venture.

    Construction for the Namoya project is underway and throughout this year several hundred locals will be employed in the construction phase, while an additional contingent of permanent employees will be added once the Namoya plant is operational next year. Around four villages are directly affected by Banro’s build-up and will have to be moved. Representatives of the company are negotiating with artisanal miners to determine who should be considered a genuine resident and as such, eligible for Banro Foundation’s compensation scheme. Predictably, the number of affected residents differed significantly when the negotiation began, with Banro recognising 106 residents while the locals identified 856 residents. The likely compromise will provide a significant number of new houses, financial compensation, and a yet-to-be-determined number of job opportunities for suitable candidates at the Namoya plant.

    Localised confrontations between the FARDC and UN peacekeepers on one side and remnants of the FDLR and Mayi-Mayi groups in North and South Kivu on the other side produce spill over security issues affecting Maniema’s gold production. Since the SARW research commenced, FDLR units, Mayi-Mayi Simba and other groups sometimes withdrew from Shabunda in South Kivu or from Walikale in North Kivu in the direction of Salamabila or Lubutu respectively. Small, semi-permanent Mayi-Mayi and FDLR units, as well as FARDC troops already deployed in Maniema, frequently harass artisanal gold miners along the Maniema-South Kivu border.

    For Paul Wembolenga, the provincial director of FEC, the only issue is whether the artisanal miners choose to pay armed aggressors voluntarily or not. François Muhemedi, the chief of the Provincial Mining Division, believes that there are a few soldiers in the gold-mining areas along the border, but that none of them bother the miners. “Members of the Police and FARDC may at times, during their official missions, demand from the artisanal mining communities a per diem for their rations.” But in Wembolenga’s experience, armed groups and military units come to gold-mining areas for three reasons only: “Kidnapping, rape and looting.” However Wembolenga does admit that sometimes FARDC troops do intervene for their protection. Nevertheless, Monsieur Ibrahim, the chief of SAESSCAM, said: “In some sites, the security is not sufficient.” As a result, many communities fear the military and are deeply distrustful. Hélène Andjelani who leads Réseau Wa Mama Simameni, a self-help group for women, summarised her experience: “There is no security for us.”

    On the list of most worrisome issues for artisanal and small-scale miners, physical security is topped only by the daily transgressions committed by government officials. “I have personally witnessed several incidents when government officials have extorted the miners,” explained Wembolenga. Agents of the provincial mining division, SAESSCAM, CEEC, DGM, ANR and the mining police are usually found on or near the mining sites. The individuals interviewed are in agreement that these government agencies offer scant benefits. “The biggest challenge is the many taxes that government agents impose on us,” said Sefu Zakunani, secretary to the artisanal miners association of Bikenge. “We are quite certain that these agents are not channelling the money they get from us into the treasury of the province or the state.” SAESSCAM agents enjoy very little respect from the artisanal miners of Bikenge. “We want nothing to do with them; they give us nothing but take taxes for which there is no legal foundation.”

    Wembolenga makes similar accusations: “The mining police come here with the only mission to get the miners’ money.” His members made Jean Népomgono Kaborongo, the president of FEC Kampene, aware that the representatives of SAESSCAM provide no assistance or training to the miners. He believes that the same agents are working closely together with the Provincial Mining Division to dictate who is permitted to access a mine and work there and who is not.

    Defao Waupenda, the chief of the artisanal miners association of Bikenge, believes that many problems are fundamentally connected with widespread ignorance of the laws in force. This basic lack of information and understanding leads to what he describes as “acrobatics in order to obtain all necessary documents and widespread discouragement and multiplicity of taxations.”

    The improper behaviour of national and provincial government employees extends to the exploitation of children. Alphonse Kibwe, a 12-year-old miner who works on gold-mining sites around Kailo, northeast of Kindu revealed: “I have to pay US$20 to US$50 for a document that the government agents say gives me the right to mine.” On the mining sites where he works, other children, including orphans or abandoned or demobilised child soldiers work in the mines. “They help with washing the gold, they carry the sand bags, and girls work in road-side stores or as prostitutes.” None of these activities worry government officials. “They only come here to extract money from me,” said Kibwe. Rather than protecting miners and seeing to it that safer work conditions prevail in the mines, government agents, the traditional leadership of the local villages, soldiers and security forces compete with each other for control over the mines and the gold. In the midst of this chaos, the 12-year-old boy has adjusted to the rule of the strong: “We are on good terms with them as long as we keep paying.”

    Bongelo Balimwatcha, a 53-year-old miner working on the same sites as Kibwe related very similar experiences: “Where we have armed government officials, we are being harassed and exploited. The worst are the mining police officers who fine us for a never-ending list of infractions.” The irony is that insecurity for the miners increases dramatically once the military arrives. Balimwatcha explained: “Extortions and violence increase when they are here.” Representatives of the government are not permanently stationed in Kailo. “But they do visit us on a regular basis whenever they are broke,” said Balimwatcha.

    Stéphane Lutika, a former artisanal miner who now earns his living as a small gold trader described how the region around Kailo used to be destabilised by Mayi-Mayi groups: “The military has gained control over our area and should now create conditions that promote secure mining. But we pay for the peace. The soldiers show up every day to get manioc, rice, banana and oil.” In addition, soldiers are often also competitors for the rich deposits in the mines. “They come in and start to dig in our richest mines – whether we want them here or not.” A young restaurant operator, Amba Yengola, described the bureaucratic hurdles to obtain permits necessary to work as a miner: “We have to do a lot of acrobatics to get our permits, and yet, we are still bothered by the government and military who come to our mining sites.” Twelve-year-old Kasimu Mujana described the relationship with the government: “Tense and particularly with soldiers who we do not trust.” Kasimu explained that miners must satisfy many demands for money and goods, but the military still does not look after their security. “Many children work in the mines and young women are used for prostitution. There is no protection for us.”

    Gold mining in North Kivu Province

    While gold deposits in North Kivu receive far less international attention than the province’s tin, cassiterite, coltan or wolframite mining, artisanal gold production is nevertheless a substantial contributor to the local economy. Located between the Kilo Moto gold belt in Orientale and the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in South Kivu-Maniema, there are approximately 12 regions with artisanal and small-scale gold-mining in North Kivu – Walikale, Masisi, Lutunguru, Manzia-Luholy-Lubereri, Mohanga, Lundjulu-Loiki-Ubiro, Lubero, Makwasu, Lutela (includes Manguredjipa), Biabune-Loya and Bilolo-Mobissio-Abakuasimbo. Up to now, very limited exploration has been conducted at these locations apart from the prospecting and semi-industrial exploitation that was conducted by a Belgian colonial company at Manguredjipa.

    North Kivu’s artisanal gold-mining communities, which are small and dispersed compared to those in Ituri, have been under heavy pressure during the past 15 years of violence. Successive waves of militias and bandits repeatedly displaced many miners, forcing them into a nomadic lifestyle and pushing them largely outside the reach of traditional academic studies.

    The relative isolation of most of these communities, the poor state of the roads, and their complete dependence on regional traders, who buy their gold and sell them foodstuffs and consumer goods, comes at a heavy price for artisanal and small-scale miners (see table 1).

    To fully assess the socio-economic conditions of artisanal and small-scale gold miners in eastern Congo it is necessary to analyse the individual buying power they have in their communities. For this purpose, SARW collected retail prices from the Congo’s principal trading hubs and the isolated gold-mining sites. The discrepancies in the retail price of tools, foodstuffs and consumer goods range from 0 to over 100 percent, with no apparent justification other than the dictate of local vendors or their suppliers in Kisangani, Butembo, Goma and Bukavu. The dominant sense is that traders are able to extract a heavy bonus from the gold miners.


    Manguredjipa is located in Lubero Territory and its only road connection is to Butembo, about 100km east. Manguredjipa is the centre of sprawling gold-mining communities. Several thousand people living in Manguredjipa, while anywhere from 30,000-45,000 are widely distributed in the 10,000 square km of surrounding forests and mountains. There is no available information about the quantity of gold that is currently extracted from this region.

    One international mining company, Loncor Resources, has acquired 55 prospecting permits and in 2009 commenced an exploration programme in and around the historic extraction sites of Manguredjipa. According to Loncor, over 300,000 ounces of alluvial gold and platinum were extracted from the area under the Belgian colonial company, Miniere des Grands Lacs (MGL), between the 1920s and the 1960s.

    The current gold rush has turned the traditional order of Manguredjipa upside down. According to the Chef De Secteur, Batsosi Nyamwisi, “historically Manguredjipa was the breadbasket of Butembo and of the Grand Nord thanks to large rice and palm plantations. During the war, mining for coltan and later for gold pushed farming almost completely out of this region.” The residents of Manguredjipa now import foodstuffs to ensure the survival of the rapidly growing population. A general hospital, primary and secondary schools (some of them Catholic schools), as well as a number of churches serve the population relatively well. Since gold-mining became the dominant activity of many thousands of people in this area, SAESSCAM, the Provincial Mining Division, the mining police, ANR and FARDC have arrived too.

    SARW focused its monitoring on three quarries: Bakele, Byamungu and Bichakuchaku – all of them located within 15km of the centre of Manguredjipa. In addition to interviews with artisanal diggers, carriers, crushers, washers and panners, the SARW researchers also talked with gold traders, local suppliers of foodstuffs, representatives of the Provincial Mining Division, the mining police, military intelligence, the head of the local medical services, Catholic priests, and other religious leaders. Chef de Secteur Batsosi Nywamwisi (a recent arrival in Manguredjipa) also assisted with information. There was no representative of SAESSCAM available in Manguredjipa during the time that the SARW researchers worked there.

    Until very recently, the tens of thousands of miners working in and around Manguredjipa operated without protection from the FARDC or other state security. Mayi-Mayi groups would periodically come to Manguredjipa and “disturb us” – as one artisanal digger put it – but all artisanal miners reported that the threat of militia attacks has diminished significantly. Only the Chef de Secteur warned that he had reports of Mayi-Mayi groups controlling some outlying mining sites, which are several days march to the west of Manguredjipa. The town is now protected by a recently-deployed FARDC regiment. “When they arrived they had no supplies whatsoever, nor money to buy food or shelter,” explained Nywamwisi. “I had to go around town and beg for food for 300 soldiers and officers.” Throughout the SARW research period in Manguredjipa, there were no signs of confrontations with armed groups. However, on the return to Butembo, a short fire fight between a FARDC patrol and a small group of combatants blocked the road for several hours. The identity or affiliation of the combatants could not be clarified, as they retreated without taking any casualties.

    The absence of any sustained militia threats does not mean that there is no violence in the gold-mining areas. Selemany, an artisanal miner who is working on an old abandoned Belgian mining site without having obtained legal permits, stated: “There are only bandits who are organised by the FARDC soldiers. They extort payments from us.” A miner who did not want to be named for fear of retribution confirmed: “Our biggest problems stem from gangs of young villagers who come here to chase us around the mines until we pay. They are not really organised but they like to pretend that they are militias.” One of the biggest risks, he explained, is robbery on the roads to and from the mines.

    Artisanal small-scale gold miners explain how the fees imposed by the agents of the Provincial Mining Division and the taxes raised by national government authorities are a serious threat to their livelihoods. While most of the miners could afford the legitimate fees and taxes, the additional illegal extortions and the daily incidents of ‘la petite corruption add up to an amount that exceeds the means of most artisanal miners. On average, the fee paid for the annual artisanal mining permit ranges from US$15 – US$25, which is often lower than the official government mandated price. However, almost all miners pay various surcharges for the permit. Once they pay, they become targets for further random extortions and other fictitious taxes by the agents of the Provincial Mining Division. The flood of charges, fees, duties, taxes and other levies are too much for many artisanal and small-scale miners, and they give up any attempt to operate within the legal space. “I don’t earn enough money to pay for these papers,” said Selemany explaining his decision to conduct illegal artisanal mining activities.

    Extra-legal financial impositions exacerbate the already deeply anchored belief that the government is not a force for good in gold mining. Not even SAESSCAM, the agency that is supposed to support and guide artisanal and small-scale miners, is appreciated. “The authorities only come here to get our money,” said one artisanal miner. “Most of the time, SAESSCAM does not even have an agent in Manguredjipa.” When questioned about whether they are aware of SAESSCAM’s mandate to assist with safer extraction methodologies or with the replacement of mercury in the processing of gold ore with safer practices, a group of miners, who wished to stay unnamed, answered: “No.” It is clear that the lack of support and assistance from government agents is a serious hindrance to a safe mining industry.

    The impotence of state authority is glaringly obvious even before one arrives in Manguredjipa. The first half of the road between Manguredjipa and Butembo was recently improved and is in fairly good condition, even during the rainy season. However, over the past three years, the last 40km of road have deteriorated to the point that not even 4x4 vehicles can operate. The only practical modes of transport are light motorcycles, bicycles, and the muscle strength of thousands of people carrying goods over many kilometres. Traders from Manguredjipa transport gold hidden in palm oil containers, sacks of vegetables, or other goods that they want to sell in Butembo. On their return journey, they carry rice, palm oil and manioc, beer, soft drinks, shovels and picks, batteries and electronic gadgets, clothes and household items. Occasionally a few 10-15 ton trucks attempt to traverse this stretch, but they get stuck and their drivers are forced to hire locals to dig through metres of mud in order to move their vehicles forward, inch by inch. On average, a truck takes 1-2 weeks to cover the last 40km to Manguredkipa.

    Crossing the mud requires backbreaking effort, but it is the first step in transporting raw gold from Manguredjipa and exchanging it food and basic necessities. However, the exchange is between massively under-priced gold and massively overpriced food and goods. SARW has calculated that the gold miners in Manguredjipa and other gold-mining centres of North Kivu pay on average 45 percent more for food, tools and consumer goods than they would in Goma.

    Despite their important economic contributions to the region, gold miners receive virtually nothing in exchange – including no attention or services from the government. Gold extraction is accompanied by serious violations of human rights, especially against women and children. “There are no measures taken against the frequent cases of sexual violence against girls, women and children in general. There is no police or judicial intervention, no place where victims can go and find protection,” stated a high-ranking official of the provincial government. An artisanal miner and father added: “How can we report our problems about illegal and exorbitant taxation, about the lack of protection and legal remedies when our women and daughters are being harassed, and in most cases the perpetrators are government officials?”


    Until a few years ago, Walikale was inaccessible by road either from Goma, Bukavu or Kisangani. Since 2005, thanks to the efforts of international donors, passable roads have been built connecting Bukavu and Goma with Walikale. The road from Kisangani is only passable by passenger vehicles as far as Lubutu. Before the roads were constructed, the only way to access Walikale – in an isolated, mountainous area 270km west of Goma – was a short asphalt airstrip built by RCD-Goma over 10 years ago on which STOL aircraft can land. Although the edge of the strip is littered with the wrecks and debris of crashed planes, it remains the only landing site for the entire region.

    Roads are the principal entry point for all consumer products for the tens of thousands of inhabitants of the region. In exchange for these supplies, raw minerals with a value of hundreds of millions of dollars are exported to the regional trading centres. Most of these minerals are delivered in sacks after arduous 50km walks through swampy forest from the tin-oxide (cassiterite) and wolframite deposits of Bisie, and from other artisanal mining sites.

    The massive wealth generated by the informal mining industry and the ubiquity of rebels and corrupt FARDC soldiers, who illegally exploit the mining communities, has made Walikale the most publicised example of a conflict-mineral zone – with good justification. Following bloody contests between RCD-Goma, FDLR and Mayi-Mayi up to 2004, Walikale, the cassiterite supply lines, and Bisie ended up under the control of the renegade and unintegrated 85th FARDC brigade.

    “On average we have to flee from armed attacks every six months. This insecurity has never changed since we started gold-mining here,” explained Nelson Muzema, an artisanal gold miner interviewed at the Wanyarukula mining site near Osso centre. “We have become nomads but with limited spaces to move to.” The southern part of the Walikale region is under the control of the government, but the north of the territory is controlled by the FDLR. Until very recently, Bisie, Omate and Mutchele were under the control of the Nduma Defense Force – better known as Mayi-Mayi Sheka, formed by Ntabo Ntaberi Sheka. Until a few years ago Sheka was the manager of the Groupe Minier Bangandula (GMB), a group established by leading business families from Goma who vied for control over the mining concessions of Bisie. However, CAMI had granted exploration permits for these deposits to Mining and Processing Congo (MPC), a company controlled by South African investors. In March 2011, MPC sold 70 percent of its assets to the Canadian company Alphamin Resources Corp, which has now installed its own management. According to guarantees given directly by President Kabila to MPC in 2009, all FARDC units would leave Bisie by mid-June 2009. This guarantee only emboldened Sheka and others to move in again on the rich mining regions.

    For gold miners and traders, the security provided by legitimate FARDC troops has its price. “We are required to pay at least 1000 FC for each gram of gold we produce,” explained Nelson Muzema, which is the cost of keeping the soldiers in Wanyarukula friendly. “If we produce greater quantities, they take one twentieth of our income.”

    In the Walikale region – widely known for its rich cassiterite mines – gold is an attractive hedge during times when cassiterite and wolframite fetch less lucrative prices on the world markets. The SARW research focused on the gold-mining sites of Zua Idée, Omate, Muchele, Matungu and Kintsimba. In all of these sites, SARW found that artisanal gold miners are subject to considerable violence, extortion and economic hardship.

    The lack of credible government authority is aggravated by the unreliable or predatory behaviour of its agents. “On our site there are no officials of the Provincial Mining Division,” stated Faustin Arthur Bingombe, a miner who is also director of a small company in Wanyarukula. “They come by for inspections,” clarified his colleague Limu Papy, the chief of the Etoile Company at Zua Idée. “Every time these government agents are visiting us, we have to arrange for a proper reception. We have to host them with a meal and provide transportation for them. All of this costs a lot of money.”

    For Tshiwara Bajunda, who works in Zua Idée, the role of the SAESSCAM agents is a mystery: “We are not aware what their role is, and we have never received any assistance or contributions from them.” Zebo Makenda Ize who works with the LK small-scale mining operation in Zua Idée confirmed: “SAESSCAM has never given us any kind of training.” Balagizi Butu stated bluntly: “The government representatives are extorting us with each sale of gold.”

    One of the problems that plague the local gold trading communities is the increasing circulation of fake gold and the inability of government agents to intervene against this emerging criminal element. “There are significant quantities circulating,” explained Mboko Kapunyola Raphaël, head of Isolé des Mines in Walikale. “It is usually offered for around 30,000 FC when real gold goes for up to 60,000 FC per gram.”

    Fraudulent gold scales are another widespread criminal ploy that cuts into the income of miners and traders. Lwaboshi Chiraga, a small gold trader based in Walikale centre explained: “We have great difficulties to make ends meet. Somehow in Bukavu, where we sell our gold, they seem to have more exact gold scales.” Once the traders from Walikale arrive there, they always end up with less gold than what they had weighed in Walikale. “We lose every time we go to Bukavu,” said Chiraga. At the same time they have to watch out that their business is conducted when the government agents are not around. “It costs us too much money when they are present and demand their share.”

    Gold mining in Orientale Province

    Nowhere is artisanal and small-scale gold-mining anchored more deeply into the history, economy and suffering of the Congolese people than it is in the Ituri District, the western section of Ortientale Province. Over the past 15 years, beginning with the First Congo War, Ituri’s gold-mining regions spiralled into uncontrolled ethnic violence. During the Second Congo War, when Ugandan and Rwandan troops occupied and thoroughly pillaged most sites, the remaining infrastructure of the major parastatal company OKIMO was dismantled, and whatever pieces of value that were left were hauled off across the border to Uganda. For three years, a succession of warlords battled each other for temporary control of the gold mines around Mongbwalu and Watsa. Beginning in 2004, the UN and the Transitional Government of the Congo made a determined effort to bring peace to Ituri. Eventually, the leaders of the most violent militias were sent off for prosecution at the ICC in The Hague, others were incarcerated in Kinshasa and international mining companies were invited back to restore the dilapidated operations. At that point, OKIMO existed only as a terribly undermanaged entity, with its staff in Bunia thinking and operating as if they were independent of the company’s headquarters in Kinshasa
    During the post-war period, exploration agreements between OKIMO and international joint venture partners, such as Anglo Gold Ashanti and Motogold, were signed under less than transparent conditions. A third international partner, Mwana Africa, obtained exploration rights. However, the terms of these contracts soon became subject to contentious renegotiations because the DRC government discovered a number of unfair terms. By 2007, the original permit holders had to surrender their rights and make room for new international partnerships:
    • The only major gold operation left unscathed was Mwana Gold, owner of the Zani-Kodo project situated west of Aru, whose contract was signed in June 2005. Mwana controlled 80 percent and OKIMO retained 20 percent of the project. The sites on which the company conducted its exploration were mined industrially until 1964. Currently, there is no timetable for commencement of industrial mining and processing.
    • The Mongbwalu project downsized to half its original territory and is now called Ashanti Goldfield Kilo (AGK) with 13.78 percent still controlled by OKIMO. The project is commonly referred to as AGK. The joint venture partners project the treatment of 500,000 tons of gold ore per year over five years at their first subterranean exploitation site at Adidi-Kanga. The date of inauguration of that mine has not yet been set.
    • The Kibali project replaced Motogold and is now operated as a 90/10 joint venture between Randgold, Anglo Gold Ashanti and OKIMO. The project is advancing rapidly towards operationalising one open pit and one underground mining site, as well as one processing plant. Limited production is expected to commence by 2014 with 600,000 ounces of gold ore at 4.1g/t gold per annum for the first 12 years. Camps for construction workers, who will be recruited from nearby communities, and the resettlement of 15 communities are progressing according to the social contribution plans approved by all partners.
    • Kilo Goldmines Ltd is a Canadian gold exploration company that has secured an exploration permit from OKIMO for a 7000 square km area to the west of the Kibali project. No data is yet available about exploration or exploitation.
    • In July 2010, OKIMO signed an agreement with the Swedish junior gold-mining company, Mineral Invest International AB, for a 1442 square km area, which is known as the Wanga deposits. They are situated south of the road connecting Faradje and Dungu. So far, the company has conducted preliminary exploratory steps only. It intends to develop the property, possibly in a joint venture with a large gold-mining company. The company, which is listed on the Swedish Stock Exchange, is involved in the mineral trade, but it is uncertain whether they will engage in gold trade or export in the DRC.
    • Negotiations for a number of additional exploration permits to junior mining companies were ongoing during late 2011 and into 2012. 
    International gold-mining companies have also shown increasing interest in gold deposits located outside the OKIMO properties. Loncor Resources has acquired several exploration rights in the province, one of which is located at Ngayu, 270km northeast of Kisangani. Around Yindi, important gold deposits were historically exploited by Belgian enterprises.
    Thanks to the strong interest of industrial mining companies, the region should experience significant growth in the coming years. For artisanal and small-scale miners, however, this is a time of heightened concerns. For some, eventual displacement and loss of access to traditional artisanal mining might be inevitable. Others might be affected in more positive ways. Social impact mitigation schemes require that all companies wishing to engage in industrial mining in the DRC provide employment, resettlement in furnished housing, schools and improved medical care for local residents and artisanal miners. But for the time being, a sense of insecurity (and sometimes anger at the foreign companies) dominates the discourse.
    In large part, the insecurities result from very poor communication strategies by the joint venture partners. While the companies appear to live up to all legally mandated disclosure statements, operating plans, socio-economic assessments, papers and studies that discuss eventual displacements and resettlements of villages, or employment opportunities, none of these important documents are published in the local languages spoken by the affected populations. The lack of correct information extends to the most elementary level. For most locals, the correct names and roles of OKIMO and its joint venture AGK are shrouded in mystery. There is ongoing confusion about the name of the company. The fact that SOKIMO (the legally correct name for the company) is no longer a parastatal but is a public company has not yet registered with the informal mining community of Ituri District.
    For artisanal and small-scale miners, it matters a great deal whether they operate on property controlled by SOKIMO or dig for gold on land under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Mining Division. Emmanuel Maki, the technical director of the small-scale mining operation at Kipe Yayo, which is within the SOKIMO-AGK land area said: “The company has signed an exploitation contract with me. In exchange they demand 30 percent of the sand we dig out and charge US$1000 per 500 square metres we use per year.” The remaining output of the mine is for the contractor, his sub-contractors, their labourers, material and tools. On the other hand, an ‘Encadreur’, who operates as the primary contractor pays 30 percent to SOKIMO but keeps 30 percent and distributes the remaining 40 percent among his local sub-contractors or mine manager, also known as ‘De Trou’. He in turn decides how much to pay his labourers.
    The labourers are hired to dig, carry and wash the sand. For these workers, the income they earn under the SOKIMO system can vary significantly. On one site SARW researchers found women carriers at Iga-Barriere who earn as little as 200 FC per day, whereas at another site nearby the diggers take home 8000 FC per day (converted into weekly pay this is approximately US$50). Despite these local variations the conditions that artisanal and small-scale miners find outside the SOKIMO-controlled area are much more favourable. The lawful annual fee for the artisanal mining permit is US$25. In principle no other charges should apply – a huge advantage over their colleagues labouring inside the SOKIMO perimeter. They are very much aware of these differences, as Basa Mateso, manager of the Nizi IV mine and chief of Baluma Village confirmed: “… the barrage of bribes, taxes and other demands by government agents add up so that we cannot afford them.” Unfortunately, Mateso is caught inside the SOKIMO territory.


    What is commonly referred to as the Mongbwalu gold-mining site encompasses a large area where informal or formal mining has been in existence for over 100 years. It is estimated that about 80 percent (or 36,000–42,000) of the people living in Mongbwalu depend on artisanal and small-scale gold mining. There are hundreds of other mining communities within the permit area of the Mongbwalu project, each with a significant population of artisanal and small-scale miners.
    Operating as artisanal or small-scale miners on the Mongbwalu site imposes different conditions compared to other parts of the DRC. As a parastatal, OKIMO has the privilege of licensing artisanal and small-scale mining operators wishing to be active on its properties. In order to better assess the relationship between OKIMO and its private sector partners and between Anglo Goldfields Kilo and the artisanal mining community, the SARW research focused both on outlying areas and mining sites in the immediate vicinity of the future Mongbwalu industrial zone.
    Lebi Faruku, a manager of a mine in Pluto highlighted the ambiguity in which the artisanal and small-scale miners must operate: “AGK has suspended the issuing of mining licenses. However, the company pretends to be blind when thousands of artisanal miners continue to exploit gold. Traditional chiefs are selling them these rights even in contravention of AGK’s property rights.”
    “We don’t experience many difficulties,” stated Eric Ukumu, an artisanal miner who works at the Pluto site, “except that we are on OKIMO’s property and it is impossible to obtain a mining permit from them.” Ukumu and other artisanal miners in Pluto are seriously bothered by the amount of exaggerated tax-schemes that state agents impose on them, notwithstanding the fact that none of them have any legal mining permits. Government services such as the Ministry of Economy, Mines, or the Environment are only acting as tax collectors. “It is disproportionate, particularly compared to the old times when we would give OKIMO 1 gram of raw gold every 2 weeks,” said Faruku. He then went even further: “We are victims of veritable organised extortion by the civil servants.” Why, he asked, do the miners have to pay taxes to the officials from the Ministry of Environment when they do absolutely nothing to protect the environment?
    For Matthieu Ovoa, the co-ordinator of CEMAO, there are even more principled issues at stake: “We are all unemployed Congolese who have been abandoned by the state. We must find a way to survive and exploiting our natural resources is what we can do.” That is why his cooperative has been fighting over the last five years for the protection of the interests of artisanal miners and to modernise their work. This primarily means finding financial resources that will be used to introduce safer mining techniques. Ovoa explained: “We have to work without legal permits, without support by the state or any other organisations.” However, his members are all exorbitantly taxed by a growing number of governmental organisations. “It’s always about money they want from us.”
    All artisanal miners agree that the physical threats from militias are clearly in the past. “The military is in charge and does effectively protect the population,” said Ovoa.
    Gold traders who either act as independent buyers of artisanal gold or more often are agents of larger gold traders situated in Bunia, Butembo or Aru, are also tolerated by AGK – and extorted by government employees for whatever they are worth. Traders and merchants are well aware that they are targets of state agents and that they should maintain a quiet existence. One trader, who wished to stay anonymous, stated: “To government officials we are chakula yetu – our Swahili expression for ‘from where you eat’.”
    Although they trade gold produced by artisanal miners who lack proper permits, the traders are still required by the Ministry of Mines to buy permits at US$190 per year. Other agencies also raise money from the traders without giving any reasons for the tax. “What ANR is doing, is anyone’s guess,” said the trader, “as is true for others, such as DGI. Very often, they don’t give us any receipt for our payments. That’s our country.”
    Hubert Ngabu, another trader who works in the Mongbwalu area, blamed AGK: “They are putting artisanal miners under pressure and make only those zones available that have already been exploited.” This situation stands in stark contrast to what many miners and gold traders fondly recall as the belle époque before the war, when Kilo-Moto employed local residents, paid good salaries and constructed roads, hospitals and schools.


    Iga-Barrière is situated midway between Bunia and Mongbwalu, at a crossroad that also leads to Fataki, Mahagi and Aru. This privileged geographic position has turned the formerly small mining site into an important trading hub for consumer goods, foodstuffs and gold. The chief of the Groupement estimates that 18,000 artisanal and small-scale gold miners are currently working in Iga-Barrière. They exploit tailings along the banks and in the Nizi River. Significant mining is also going on in the surrounding hillsides, which are exploited by small-scale mining operations, often involving several dozens of employees.
    A mini gold rush was recently triggered in Mbudu, a village to the northeast of Iga-Barriere, when a local resident was digging a septic tank and hit upon a very rich gold vein. In a short period of time, the entire village of farmers began digging in their backyards and fields and even ripped their houses apart. Not much is left of the original Mbudu except pits that indicate a major occurrence of artisanal gold-mining.
    Such mad rushes on their land may be explained by the extraordinary difficulties and confusions concerning property rights and access to gold deposits. “Who owns the land? OKIMO, SOKIMO or AGK?” asked Généreuse Lotsove, who works with a small-scale mining operation in Mbundu, “No representative told us anything about the future of this space.”
    Many suspect that the confusions and the pressures that SOKIMO exerts on the local communities with the help of ANR agents is designed to drive people off their land, which is considered a historic right by many Congolese. “On one site managers of SOKIMO frequently buy our gold because trading with artisanal gold is still their most important source of income,” explained Ngona Lossa, a catechist in one of the local villages. At the same time, many SOKIMO managers appear to take advantage of the miners to the point that they can barely survive. “They take the little that is left to the artisanal miners when in fact all we want is to use the land that belongs to Baluma, our ancestor.”
    Small-scale miner Richard Ngbemu explained: “In order to work a mine, one pays 30 kitcheles of raw gold that is currently about US$1290.” After that there are quantities of sand with high gold content that are given to the police, soldiers, ANR, and other government and non-government employees. Tsala Dhekana, the mayor of Iga-Barriere and a contractor on mining sites, described the full picture of economic deprivations: “The price we have to pay for the rights to mine the land from SOKIMO is beyond our means and still we are required to pay and obtain the same rights from the traditional leader. Now, once we have the permit, the government services knock on our door to get what they consider their share. The demands by the local ANR intelligence agents are particularly odious. No local miner sees any benefits from their presence. There are a lot of misgivings about these so-called taxes, but we pay them in the hope that we will not be squeezed further.”
    For female miners, the economic pressures are particularly difficult. In many cases their husbands were killed during the wars and militia violence, they were displaced or they were otherwise separated from their men and families. Without any capital, there are very few opportunities for survival left for them. The relationship with the government agencies and the joint venture partners is crucial to their survival. “SOKIMO has always bothered us because they have never tolerated our presence unless we paid them,” explained Pascaline Ndjangusi, a female miner and stone collector working on the Sombe-Dimo mine, “But AGK is much worse – they have prohibited everything we do.” The exploitation of single women can take many other forms too. Généreuse Lotsove recalled how a policeman recently fined her for allegedly not respecting the traffic rules while she walked away from a gold buyer. “He knew that I had cash because I just sold a little bit of gold.”
    All miners report real improvements regarding the elimination of physical threats and attacks by militias or renegade FARDC forces. “We have no militias left in the region,” stated Issamba Jado, a farmer and part-time artisanal miner from Mbudu. “We have total peace; nobody has to fear for his life anymore. The security situation has improved to the point where our most serious problems are now with AGK.” Some miners have even pointed out that they rely on FARDC to protect their mines and gold when they transfer it to the buyer. A catechist, Dieudonné Bapu, confirmed that whatever precarious situations created by the joint venture partners might exist, the military has no part in it. “We are at peace with the soldiers who are here, they just do their work.” Virginie Love, who runs a little shop in Iga Centre pointed out that recourse for victims of violent crimes is now available: “The police will take violent crimes seriously and there is now also a special court for legal issues related to children.”


    In contrast to Iga-Barriere, Mabanga is far from the main roads that connect Bunia with Mongbwalu or with Mahagi-Aru. The road to Mabanga is in a deplorable state and even with a good 4-wheel-drive vehicle during the dry season it takes over one hour to navigate from the main road to Mabanga. During the rainy season Mabanga is often inaccessible. Notwithstanding these problems, the gold rush has attracted over 2000 miners and their families, who have built makeshift houses near the three principal mining sites.
    Mabanga is part of the territory granted to AGK, but the joint venture partners have not initiated exploration drilling in the immediate vicinity. That does not mean that AGK – or maybe OKIMO – has not established a revenue sharing system with the local gold miners. “According to OKIMO’s rules we are supposed to pay 30 percent of our gold sand, but on average we end up paying 40 percent of our revenues because that’s how much they take from our excavated sand,” explained Gratien Ndahora, a local miner. “It is an abusive system because on top of these payments, agents from ANR, representatives of the Ministry for the Environment and even the FEC are demanding a share of our gold.”
    The relationship with the military, on the other hand, brings practical and positive benefits to the miners. In Mabanga, gold is mined in open-pit mines. Substantial amounts of sand, all with a high content of gold, are dug up and stored until the crew can start to wash out and divide the gold. “Storing so much valuable sand is risky,” explained Philippe Lokana, a sub-contractor in charge of a mine in Dimo. “It can be stolen, or even our workers may start to wash it out prematurely.” To prevent theft, most miners rely on the military to guard the gold sand deposits day and night, seven days a week. The fee for the soldiers is customarily around 10 percent of the production, which is considered a good investment by most miners. “Their presence on our site has absolutely no negative impact on our work or the security of our families,” assured Lokana, “because they leave once their work is done.”
    Bondo/ Banalia
    Mining sites in the two territories of Bondo and Banalia are very isolated and only connected by poor roads to the southeast where the next trading centre is in Kisangani, 600 km away. Baye and Seminor are the principal gold-mining sites in Bondo, while Panga and Mangi are the centres in Banalia. Some industrialised gold exploitation began in this area during the colonial period, but the Belgian installation quickly fell into disrepair after independence. The current, informal artisanal mining started in the early 1980s as part of the Zairianisation of the mining industry.
    Over ten thousand artisanal miners have been drawn to these remote regions. In the minds of the gold miners, the record prices quoted on world gold markets make it practical to travel these distances and endure the hardships. Government services and oversight functions have not kept pace with the massive influx of artisanal miners. Although SAESSCAM has deployed 150 agents to all areas of the province, not all of them are formally under contract and most of them see monthly salary payments only a few times per year. On the rare occasions when salaries are paid, even senior agents receive a mere US$30 per month.
    The deplorable state of government oversight extends to CEEC, an agency that generally tends to be proactive. According to the head of the Kisangani bureau of CEEC, none of the gold exporting firms that operate in Kisangani have requested legal licenses to do business. The entire output from the artisanal miners is therefore leaving the country illegally and without having been properly taxed.
    The unpaid agents responsible for the oversight and law enforcement of the province have turned into hungry predators, who regularly descend upon the artisanal mining camps with fictitious orders and payment demands. “The glaring contradictions in their so-called taxation systems and the multiplicity of government services do not keep the officials from proceeding with whatever they want on any given day,” said a miner from Buta by the name of Bruno Masebu Ngboyo. “SAESSCAM agents are not bothering to help and instruct artisanal miners. They are just here to ask us for money – often without giving us any receipt.”
    According to the miners, even the government agent’s thievery is not organised properly. “They charge us an exorbitant US$25 for an artisanal mining permit,” stated Ismaël Marmalaba, a miner from Baye, “but frequently they are out of forms.” Artisanal miners are supposed to pay anyway. Miners who wish to obtain evidence for their payment receive no help. For Marmalaba the conclusion is inevitable: “There is nothing legal here.” Another miner, Jean Ngbangbo agreed: “We are abandoned by the state and no laws protect us.” The lawlessness extends deep into the working lives of each miner, as Ngbangbo and Marmalaba explained: “As soon as we start to find gold in a newly dug mine, a local administrator may show up on behalf of the landowners to chase us off.”
    The miners also have to consider that the Disciplinary Brigade is sent against them. These are poorly trained police officers who tend to create a lot of problems. FARDC soldiers and normal police can cause even more serious security problems. Bruno Masebu Ngboyo told SARW: “The soldiers are not permanently deployed to our mining sites. But every time they show up, they start to loot and pillage our camps and if we object, their answer is arbitrary arrests. This is always a time of terror for our families.”
    One miner stated laconically: “This is the law of the jungle.”

    Gold mining in South Kivu Province

    The second richest gold deposit in the DRC, the Twangiza Namoya gold belt that cuts across South Kivu from east to west, is also one of the spaces where the nexus of conflict and gold has a particularly long history. Armed groups operated from the Itombe Range during 25 years of perpetual rebellion against Mobuto. It is also the original refuge of the Banyamulenge, who were one of the catalysts for the Congolese wars. This is the first region that is on the verge of moving from many years of informal gold-mining into industrial production. In October 2011, the Canadian-managed Banro Corporation started to produce gold at its Twangiza mining site. Other sites around Lugushwa and Kamituga are now under development and will commence production in the coming years. Industrial gold production is expected to bring additional revenues to the people of South Kivu.

    There are many secondary gold-mining sites in addition to rich deposits of cassiterite, coltan, wolframite, silver, copper, cobalt and other minerals. Most of these deposits (including the gold now being mined by Banro) used to be part of the vast Belgian-Zairian conglomerate SOMINKI. During Mobutu’s Zairianisation of the mining sector, the industrial installations were abandoned and exploitation of the region’s assets reverted back to artisanal and small-scale operations.

    Historically, South Kivu has spawned a diversity of armed groups. Together with North Kivu, the province is dotted with surviving units of FDLR and Mayi-Mayi. In recent years, Hutus who banded together in FDLR units have come under attack in successive military operations, starting with ‘Umoja Wetu’ in 2009, a joint Congo-Rwanda military offensive, and ‘Kimia II’ that was assisted by MONUC. While the FDLR are now fractured and decimated, they are still a destabilising factor as the last major confrontation in Shabunda province (November-December 2011) demonstrated. And roaming FDLR bands still threaten gold-mining communities, as SARW learned in interviews with artisanal gold miners in Kalehe.

    Mwenga/ Walungu
    The historically prominent gold-mining centres of Kamituga and Lugushwa and many other sites in the Walungu and Mwenga Territories tap into the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt. In the past, these sites were mined industrially by SOMINKI. The Banro operations in Twangiza and at Namoya to the west in Maniema Province are expected to yield 240,000 oz of gold per year. The expected revenue will fund expansion costs at the Banro sites in Kamituga and Lugushwa. The required investments will infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into the regional economy in the form of direct taxes, dividends, as well as indirectly through the commission of various works, acquisitions and salaries.

    While the mid-term prospects for the region are positive, the short-term prospects are dominated by widespread fear of the consequences that the transition from informal to formal gold production will have of local communities. Misinformation and rumours abound that Banro will displace entire villages and deprive the Congolese of their traditional right to benefit from their land’s gold riches. Any white visitor to the region is normally mistaken as an emissary of Banro, and will be viewed with a great deal of suspicion. The assumption is that Banro will gradually displace the entire artisanal and small-scale population within its extensive concessions. “All of Kamituga is part of the Banro concession territory,” explained Mukupi Bulambo, a miner on the Isomisa gold mining site. “There is no mechanism to guide us to free mining sites, or information available about alternative artisanal mining zones. Instead of helping us, the government just blocks the issuance of artisanal mining permits.” Another local miner, Mulmabi Karubandika, is very aware of how exposed they are to Banro’s decisions. “Everything can change from one moment to another. We do not know our rights. We do not know the precise boundaries of the Banro concession land.” Bulambo and many of his colleagues fear that any day Banro will arrive and shut them all down. “From time to time a Banro representative comes to reassure us that they are not ready to work in our area,” said Bulambo. While that is helpful, the miners still fear the inevitable day when Banro will change its plan. “It will be a great tragedy because we will not be prepared for that day,” added Bulmabo.

    To some extent these fears are offset by Banro Foundation’s efforts, including the building of roads, the Mulambi Mission medical facility north of Twangiza, the Kibiswa primary school near Namoya (on the South Kivu side of the border with Maniema) and the Makalanga Women’s Resource Centre in Lugushwa. The company also provides water-supply remediation, supplies latrines to hospitals, builds sports facilities, rebuilds churches, and sponsors an array of local and regional activities – social contributions that are required of any mining company by national laws. But Banro has missed important opportunities to make these contributions better known in the wider region by publishing reports about its plans and efforts not only in French but also in Swahili. According to its most recent release, Banro currently has 634 skilled employees of whom 558 are Congolese. Another 2,600 Congolese are directly or indirectly employed in the construction phases of the various projects that the company is undertaking in South Kivu and Maniema.

    With or without Banro, the backbone of the local economy is mining. “At least 80 percent of the population of the Kamituga area depends on income from mining,” estimated Messe Wangalusu, manager of a small-scale gold-mining operation at the Kabatongo site. The remaining 20 percent of the population indirectly depend on mining since they are the traders who supply the communities.

    With the new regulation issued by the Ministry of Mines that forces all artisanal miners to organise themselves into cooperatives, the economic dynamics have changed for the worse. “Rather than represent and protect our interests, we now find that our cooperatives are just another cost factor that has to be borne by the miners,” explained Messe Wangalusu. “These escalating financial pressures will swallow us up.” The rising cost of living is taking a heavy toll on the wallets of miners. “To put food on the table for my family of five, I pay at least US$10 per day. Everything we buy here has to be brought in from Bukavu – for which we pay. And because the roads are in a very bad state, we are forced to pay an extra price on top of the already higher costs for all the goods and foodstuffs.”

    Everyone interviewed throughout the entire artisanal mining structure, including the small gold traders and the local associations representing miners and traders, agrees that ongoing harassment and extortions by government officials is the most challenging and threatening problem. Lehopa Butumani, who is a miner in the G7 mine and has been working since the age of 14 without a proper artisanal mining permit, summarised the problems of working as a gold miner: “Administrative harassments by the military, the traditional leaders and the police; lack of assistance and tools, and starvation.”

    According to all interviewed miners, government functionaries sometimes collect the legitimate fees for the artisanal mining permit. However, it is much more likely that the same administrators – together with soldiers and officers, traditional leaders and policemen – will extort numerous additional payments. Regardless of whether the fees, taxes or levies raised against them are legitimate, the miners and traders are left with little or nothing in net earnings. Despite their contribution as one of the most significant regional wealth providers, the artisanal and small-scale miners receive no services from the government in return. “SAESSCAM agents only show up to collect our money,” said one miner. Lehopa Butumani illustrated the point: “If one of us requires hospital care, we have to carry the patient 50km from Lugushwa to Kitutu over a horrendous road that turns into a metre-deep mud river during the rainy season. With a motorbike the trip costs US$20-US$30.”

    Itongwa, who is the manager of a mining cooperative, explained: “The mining police come here only if somebody hasn’t paid the taxes. In that case they shut down the mine.” Until the penalised miners pay a US$50 fine they are not allowed to resume mining. Thierry Babingwa, president of the mining cooperatives of Mwenga Territory, complained: “The Mining Division has found a new twist by charging for the application form and for the actual artisanal mining permit.” In his opinion, SAESSCAM has completely confused its mission. “Instead of providing training and education to artisanal miners, they see themselves exclusively as a tax collection authority.”

    Claude Maliza, an artisanal miner from Birhala, explained how combatants frequently visit the mines. “It used to be just FDLR rebels but they have been pushed out. On the rare occasions when they still come by, they are disguised in civilian clothes. Units of the FARDC are now in control, and they show up frequently to collect ‘little presents’. Whenever FARDC units appear, we have a little panic sweeping the mine,” said Itongwa. “We represent such attractive looting opportunities that if their superiors order them to be transferred, they will fight those orders and simply stay.” Butumani explained: “The soldiers are clearly interested in nothing else but gold. We never see them during the time we develop a mine or during the rainy season when most of our mining sites are flooded and we are unable to work.”

    “When the mines are ready for production, FARDC units will immediately be present. They either enforce a fictitious reason to close the mine so that they can take over the operation themselves, or they force us to give them a certain amount of stone. Frequently, they will crush the stones and wash out the gold themselves. We have, for example, First Lieutenant Guilan of the 14th Brigade who works in the Tobola mines outside Kamituga. He not only runs his own mine, he also acts as financier for other mining sites and is trading gold on his own account,” explained Thierry Babingwa.

    Another president of a regional mining cooperative said: “Every Saturday, the FARDC who are based in Butuza extract from all miners in the surrounding areas the gold ore that they produce during two hours of work.” Even if the police and military try to hide their true intentions, the legal adviser to the artisanal miners who are members of the G7-Cooperative knows that the miners are subject to extortion: “They come into the mine to look for trouble and to shut down the entire mine. Unless we pay hefty fines, they will not allow us to go back to work.”

    In addition to raw gold or untreated gold ores, many mining communities are regularly asked to contribute food rations of manioc, beans or sweet potatoes to FARDC soldiers.

    A secondary area where the gold industry is subject to extortion is the road to the nearby trading centres of Uvira and Bukavu. “There are always armed men out looking for somebody to rob,” explained Songa Iluba, the chief of the local gold traders association. “They are usually in civilian clothes to make us think that they belong to the FDLR.” Even if they are FDLR, it does not matter. Iluba further explained: “The thievery usually takes place in plain sight of an FARDC checkpoint. Our national military forces never intervene.”

    In addition to the extortions and grotesque over-taxations, the gold miners of Walungu and Mwenga are also often forced to pay highly exaggerated retail prices. “We spend only 20 percent of our time farming,” stated one indigenous miner. No one pursues farming anymore – the traditional source of income in this part of South Kivu. Degradation due to over-cultivation of the once fertile soil and an increase in pests, such as cassava mosaic, brown streak and many other parasites, have had deleterious effects on the economy of South Kivu. Now, the majority of the food consumed in the mining areas is imported and bought at a steep premium by the miners.


    Kalehe is nestled at the point on the road from Bukavu where it forks northwest to Walikale and northeast to Goma. Despite its strategic location, Kalehe has been traditionally cut off from formalised mining. The region is rich in cassiterite, coltan, wolframite, tantalum, niobium and gold, and since 2008 has attracted foreign investments. The largest holder of exploration permits is the Canadian company, Shamika Resources, which – under its local subsidiary Shamika Congo Kalehe – controls wide-ranging permits in Kalehe and on neighbouring Idjwi island. Shamika has released no information about its financing, or when and where it intends to commence an exploration programme, and any production seems to be far off in the future.

    Kalehe’s relative isolation is one of the main reasons why the industrialisation of the region has been so slow, particularly as its isolation and the nearby Kahuzi-Biega National Park make the area an ideal resupply base for FDLR and Mayi-Mayi groups. Several times in recent years, the UN Group of Experts has reported on how sections of Kalehe were dominated or controlled by FDLR, PARECO, and FARDC units entirely composed of former CNDP combatants. In 2009, the Group also reported how FARDC Colonel Zimurinda controlled many mines in Kalehe, and how his officers were once intercepted transporting 1500 kilograms of wolframite to a trading house in Goma. There is no known follow-up by the government in this case.

    Debra Basomi Charangabo, an artisanal miner explained: “Our site is not far from the forest where FDLR are sometimes camped. From time to time, they come by to loot, pillage and inflict other abuses on us”. Despite the ongoing presence of militias and criminal groups, many artisanal miners stated that they were not being disturbed. On the other hand, they complained of being forced to make regular payments to FARDC soldiers and provide weekly ‘military rations’ as well as suffering occasional looting sprees by militias. Somehow, artisanal miners in Kalehe have come to accept these abuses and extortions as an unavoidable part of life. Banga, an artisanal miner who is part of the Cominya cooperative, said: “The soldiers regularly impose ‘community service’ on all miners.” However, Patrick Ameli, a member of the artisanal mining cooperative Nyawaronga, pointed out: “Actually, the soldiers do not disturb us much and for the 500 FC we pay weekly they are the only ones who can intervene in conflict situations, or where we can obtain some justice.”

    In Kahale too, the so-called fees, taxes and levies that are imposed by a swarm of government officials take on absurd dimensions. According to several members of the Cominya cooperative, the weekly fee for the FARDC is 500 FC per miner, US$22 for one artisanal miner card, US$4 for an identification card, another US$10 per month and per mine for each miner plus US$10 for the SAESSCAM identification document. “Finally, we are also paying US$5 per week to the president of our cooperative.” Bahati Bosco, one of the local miners is under no illusion about the real purpose of these taxes: “They only come here to get our money.”

    Of all the artisanal miners interviewed in Kalehe not a single one could identify a positive service or useful contribution by government agents. “We don’t have too many difficulties obtaining our permits and artisanal miner permits,” stated Ameli “except that we often have to search long and hard to find gold in order to pay for it.”

    The prevalent view among the mining communities is that the living and working conditions are ‘deplorable’. Fina Mucweru and Chalonza Natkucheba, two women who operate small trading posts, explained: “We have no health centre, no school, and the roads are so bad that our goods can only be transported to and from Bukavu by motorbike.” Lack of services and rule of law in their community has resulted in complex land disputes and a direct threat to their survival. The land for which the chief of the camp obtained a mining permit actually belongs to a local farmer. Lwaga Macine, one of the miners, stated: “The landowner wants to raise crops in the surrounding fields and is not allowing our women to farm for our own needs. This jeopardises our survival.”

    Ameli pointed out that there are no police stationed near their site with currently over 200 miners at work. Felix Wazekwa Zihalirwa, the chief of the camp, explained that the lack of security even extends to transportation. Neither motorbikes nor bicycles can be used, forcing miners and traders to walk six hours to sell their gold in town or to bring food and supplies to the mining sites. Zihalirwa said: “That exposes us and our traders to high risks of being robbed.”


    The hinterlands of Fizi, extending along Lake Tanganyika to Baraka and to the northwest towards Mwenga, and then along the adjacent Itombe mountain range and the Minembwe plateau, are rich in gold deposits. The plateau is the homeland of the Banyamulenge people, an ethnic group deeply embroiled in the Congo wars. As a leading member of the People’s Revolutionary Party, former President Laurent-Désiré Kabila lived and operated from Fizi for many years. As the leader of the Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre, he staged the successful overthrow of Mobuto from this region.

    Until very recently, rebel activities have prevented industrial mining. However, over the past five years this has been reversed and companies are showing strong interest in acquiring mining permits. TransAfrikaResources had secured permits for the largest tracts of land for mining exploration, brought in drilling equipment and advanced rapidly towards production. However, the UN Group of Experts recently reported that the founder and operations manager of TransAfrikaResources might have a relationship with the FRF, a Banyamulenge-dominated rebel group. The manager, Thomas Nziratimana, was formerly a Vice-Governor of South Kivu and a RCD functionary. According to the UN, the FRF receives logistical and general support from Banyamulenge communities in return for protection. It was also discovered that the FRF raised taxes from local markets and gold traders. These UN allegations were serious enough to cause TransAfrikaResources to abandon its work in South Kivu.

    Another concession encompasses Makenda mine, a traditional artisanal and small-scale mining site. According to CAMI records, Kashama Muteba holds an exploration permit together with 38 additional licenses throughout the DRC. They were all granted on 22 January 2007. Kashama Muteba appears to be Ferdinand Kashama Muteba, the President of the UDPS chapter in Ontario, Canada. SARW researchers did not detect any sign of activity on this property, leaving the entire gold-rich region once again to artisanal gold miners.

    Leda Mining, a company that appears to be a subsidiary of Anvil Mining, owns large concessions to the South of Fizi. Leda sold 75 percent of its rights to a property located southwest of Fizi in Misisi to a junior gold exploration company called Casa Mining, which has also acquired gold exploration rights in Maniema and Katanga. The company has commenced a drilling programme on its Misisi property, but it will be a number of years before any industrial gold production is likely in this location. Nevertheless, rumours have already made some local gold miners and traders nervous. “If the company begins operations, all traders will be unemployed as we depend on our business of buying gold,” said Safari Kazinguvu, the secretary of ANEMISA, the gold traders association in Misisi. “We are not for the industrialisation of this region.”

    Of concern is the widespread presence of FARDC soldiers who engage in every aspect of gold-mining. “Whenever a mine shows promising gold veins, the FARDC soldiers and officers and the ANR and National Police make us work a certain amount of hours for them,” said Mwanza Assumani, a miner and member of a cooperative in Kimbi. “The commanders of the FARDC 10th Military Region have stone-crushers working for them on a permanent basis – they have no choice.”

    Instabilities caused by the presence of Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba, FDLR, FRF and the forces of the FARDC 112th Brigade (which integrated former FRF combatants) have only recently abated. Once again, the ongoing presence of FARDC soldiers continues to impose heavy penalties on artisanal communities. Justin Bitombo, who works in the artisanal gold mine in Misisi, described the relationship with the FARDC stationed in his region: “Most of the time they are ok with us. But it is dangerous. The situation can change at any moment as we saw during the military operation Kimia II. They came frequently into our villages and mining camps to loot, pillage and to take our women.”

    Under closer questioning, Bitombo admitted that he was subjected to many different abuses, including daily extortion for money or food. “They ask us to work for them for two hours, but then they force us to go on for two days. And in the neighbouring Miba mine soldiers frequently work there but they force the locals to wash their sand for free.” With small bands of FDLR and Mayi-Mayi roaming the area, most miners around Misisi are more than willing to accept the transgressions of FARDC soldiers, since their presence is a security-enhancing factor.

    To avoid extortion by renegade soldiers – mostly imposed on traders who buy raw gold from the mining sites and transfer it to Fizi – the administrator of the territory has ordered all gold ore to be crushed in Fizi. However, these types of measures just shift the cost around. Raphael Bofoya Limwawa, a member of Comiki, a cooperative in Misisi, stated: “Transporting the stones to the stone-crushers in the centre of Fizi increases transportation costs enormously – that we pay.”

    The exorbitant payments to the military still do not protect the cooperative against illegal coercions. Comiki’s chief has to pay SAESSCAM 300,000 FC per month. Artisanal miners who are not part of the cooperative but would like to work in the same mining site have to pay 50,000 FC per month. “The traditional leaders of the land where we work demand payments as well, usually in collaboration with ANR agents, the officials of the Provincial Mining Division and the mining police,” said Limwawa.

    When President Kabila imposed a six-month suspension on all mining activities, the officers of the 112th and 113th Regiments did not enforce it but took advantage of it. “Each stone-crusher was required to pay each week in order to be permitted to work,” explained Mwanza Assumani, a miner and member of a local cooperative. The approximately 200 stone-crushers who work at the Miba mining site ended up paying 1 million FC just to secure the military’s permission to continue to work. After they were allowed back into the mine, they were still forced to pay 15,000-20,000 FC per day.

    Gold deposits in Congo (Kinshasa) (Source: Southern African Development Community, Mineral Resources Survey Programme No 4, 2001) 

    The Democratic Republic of Congo remains one of the world's great undeveloped resources of mineral wealth. Despite limited exploration, it is known to be rich in copper, cobalt, zinc, gold and dia­monds, and it could have been one of the stronger economies of Africa if it had not had such major political problems. Up to the early 1960s gold production was 8 000 kg a year (Ruffini, 1997). Most of the gold pro­duction came from deposits in greenstone belts of northem DRC, close to the borders to Uganda and Sudan (a legend which still lives on in the Democratic Republic of Congo places the gold mines of King Solomon in this area) and from the Kivu Province in eastern DRC. 
    The country was known as the Belgian Congo until it became independent in  1960 as  the Republic of  the Congo. In 1964 it became the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its name was changed in 1971 to Zaire by President Mobuto Sese Seko. A rebellion in 1997 saw the toppling of President Mobutu and carried Laurent­ Desire Kabila to power and the country reverted to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    The new government was initially reasonably well received by the mining community, and interest from foreign companies would be on the increase if it were not for the ongoing civil war. The country's new Minister of Mines believes that official production of 6 000 kg a year could be achieved and hopes the country will take its place as one of Africa's major gold producers (Ruffini, 1997).

    YearProductionUnit of Measure% Change
    20034100Kilograms-46.05 %
    20045700Kilograms39.02 %
    20057200Kilograms26.32 %
    200610300Kilograms43.06 %
    20075100Kilograms-50.49 %
    20083300Kilograms-35.29 %
    20092000Kilograms-39.39 %

    Northern DRC

    Gold production in northern DRC began in 1904. Total recorded output from the region amounts to 350 t.

    Stratigraphy and general geology

    The entire gold production of northern DRC comes from schists and greenstone belts located either within the Bomu amphibolite and gneiss Complex, or within the Upper Zaire granitiod Massif' where the greenstone terranes are referred to as the Ganguan and the Kibalian respectively. The Upper Zaire granitiod Massif consti­tutes, together with associated metasediments and vol­ canics, the western part of the Nyanza-K.ibali granite­ greenstone   terrane, which   extends   from   northern Tanzania  into  the  Central   African   Republic.   The  Kibalian greenstone terrane is more important from an economic point of view (it hosts the Kilo and Moto Greenstone Belts which are the largest gold producers in
    the Democratic Republic of Congo) and crops out in numerous zones surrounded by granitoids.(The Moto greenstone belt, north-eastern Congo, which consists of Archaean rocks of the Lower Kibalian System host the important gold mineralization. The Moto greenstone belt is bounded to the north by the Archaean West Nile Gneiss complex and to the south by the (younger) Upper Zaire granitic complex.
    The Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, eastern Congo, is located in Proterozoic and Archean age rocks in the northern half of the Great Lakes sub-province.)

    Gold mineralisation

    The gold is hosted either in quartz veins emplaced within shear zones cutting across greenstones or tonalite, or in impregnations along foliation planes (Lavreau, 1984). The process which concentrated the gold into the veins or foliation planes was accompanied by profound wallrock alteration, mainly carbonatisation. The alteration took place during greenschist-facies metamorphism.

    Kilo Greenstone Belt

    Alluvial gold was discovered in the Kilo area in 1903, and shortly thereafter high-grade gold quartz veins were discovered. Gold has been recovered intermittently from the Kilo mines since the early 1900s, with ore grades of about 15,5 g/t Au having been obtained. Reported cumu­ lative production to date has been 466-622  kg of gold (Elevatorski, 1995). The rich gold-quartz veins occur in faulted and sheared zones of chloritic schist and amphi­ bolite. Generally the veins are about 2 m thick, subverti­ cal and concordant with the foliation of the country rocks. In some areas the veins have been folded and refolded, resulting in saddle reefs. Pyrite, pyrrhotite and magnetite are abundant accessory minerals. In addition to quartz-vein mining, some gold has been reco-vered from eluvial deposits and also from disseminated gold in wall-rock impregnations
    Isuru, Kanga

    About half of the lode production from the Kilo District has  come  from  the Isuru  and  Kanga  deposits  located about 25 km northwest of Kilo. These deposits produced a total of some 40 t of gold. Quartz veins and lenses are disposed in an en echelon pattern along mylonitised zones (Lavreau, 1984). The host rocks at Isuru are ferruginous grits. The country rocks at Kanga are quartz-diorite and coarse-grained tonalite, intrusive in greenstones.


    Of the two deposits  mined, the· one is situated  within chlorite-talc schist, while the other one occurs within coarse-grained  tonalites.  It has  not  been  established whether   the  same  shear   structure   created   the  two deposits or not. Vertical faulting is a common feature in the  region.  The  gold  grades  of  these  two  deposits  is about 10 g/t Au (Lavreau, 1984).

    Senzere Mine

    The Senzere Mine is located approximately 5 km south­ east of the Nzebi deposit. En echelon quartz veins were mined from shear zones within strongly foliated chlorite­ actinolite-talc schist. The ore grade was about 9,3 g/t Au.


    At Tsele a quartz vein, 1 m thick in a mafic host rock, was mined. The ore graded between 2-25 g/t Au with average gold grade of 10 g/t (Lavreau, 1984).


    Quartz veins in fine-grained, non-schistose amphibolite were mined at Yedi, 40 km northwest of Kilo. No further information is avalaible.

    Camp Ill

    At Camp III a single vein, 0,5-2 m thick, has yielded 20 g/t Au. Host rocks are andesitic. No further informa­tion is avalaible.

    Moto Greenstone Belt

    Exploitation of auriferous  placers began in 1911. Subsequently production also came from lodes discov­ered in this area. Unlike the Kilo mines, most of the pro­duction has come from wall-rock impregnations (Elevatorski,  1995). Host rocks are iron-stained  schist and amphibolite similar to those at the Kilo mines; how­ever, there is a paucity of diabase dykes. Gangue miner­als include albite, quartz and carbonates, with subordi­nate  sericite,  iron,  chlorite  and  epidote.  Ores  contain pyrite, pyrrhotite and magnetite.


    About 15 km east of Moto is the ore body of Agbarabo which is cylindrical in shape about 20 m in diameter and has been exploited to a length of 300 m. It dips to the north-northeast, parallel to the foliation  of the country rocks. Enriched shoots are encountered within the main body, or near it. The host rocks are sericitised and albitised schist. Most of the established 20-t gold reserve has been mined out (Lavreau, 1984).

    Gorumbwa Mine

    The Gorumbwa Mine, about 9 km south of the Agbarabo Mine, had a high-grade tabular ore body, 120m wide at the surface (reducing to 55 m at 30m below surface) and about 10 m thick, dipping at 24 to the north-northeast. The gold grade of the mined ore was 15 g/t Au. Host rocks  are  carbonate-albite-quartz  schist  (Elevatorski,1995). Silver and copper sulphides are abundant. Most of the 40-t gold reserve has been mined out (Lavreau, 1984).


    The quartz vein mined at this deposit was emplaced into amphIbolites. It had a strike length of 300 m and a depth extent of 60 m. The average thickness of the vein was about  1 m. Total recorded  production  was 491  kg  of gold, with an average grade of about 6 g/t Au (Lavreau,
    1984). Exploitation had to be abandoned as a result of excessive water infiltration.

    Ngayu Greenstone Belt

    The  Ngayu  Greenstone  Belt  is  located  approximately 240  km southwest  of the Moto  Greenstone  Belt. It is unknown when gold was first discovered here.


    A  swarm  of  parallel  quartz  veins  gives  rise  to  the Kitenge  and  Adumbi  inselbergs. Some twenty veins have been worked in this area, with two of them yielding most of the 5 t of gold produced by the two mines (Lavreau,  1984). The veins are a few centimetres  thick and are disposed in an en echelon way, slightly oblique to the elongation of the hills. Gold content was remarkably constant at around 10 g/t. A report for Adumbi by the Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres, indicated potential for downdip extensions of the ore body to host up to 1,9 Mt of ore at an average grade of 10 g/t Au (Ruffini, 1997).


    At Yindi, about 1 407 kg of gold have been recovered from a vein field in which more than 1 400 veins have been recorded (Lavreau, 1984), but only twenty of them have been exploited. Their individual  thicknessess  are less than 1 m and their gold content varies between 1 and 344 g/t, with an average of 3,6 g/t. Only 70 per cent of the gold was recovered because of the abundance of sulfides and the refractory nature of the ore. The vein field of Yindi is hosted within metavolcanics and ferruginous grits. Veins and veinlets are parallel to the apparent bedding. The  lengths  of  the  veins  are  considerable  (one being  1  300  m  in  length)  and  their  thickness  varies between 0 and 200 cm. At Angukuluku a small but similar vein field has yield­ ed 170 kg of gold. The bedding, marked by ferruginous grits, is cut at the fold hinges, indicating  that the veins were emplaced parallel to the regional foliation
    Kivu Province

    Both alluvial and lode gold operations have yielded gold from  this  Province  in  the  eastern  DRC.  One  of  the recently active operations in this area was the Lugushwa placers, located about 80 km southwest of Kamituga.


    Ownership in 2001:    Banro Resource Corporation 93 per cent, Government  of the Democratic  Republic of Congo 7 per cent Alluvial mining has accounted  for all the gold production to date from Lugushwa, located about 45 km south­ west  of  Kamituga.. Mineralised   zones  are  contained within  what  appears  to  be  a  synclinal  structure. As recently as 1996, gold was extracted by a primitive alluvial operation,  with reported  production  at 62.,20 kg a year.Total identified   resources   are  933  kg  (Banro Resource Corporation, 1998). Regional geology comprises mica schist with intercalated greenstone and quartzite, and intrusive granite with quartz  veins  and  quartz  stockworks   in.  shear zones (Ruffini, 1998c). The gold within the veins and stock­ works often grades between 30 and 100 g/t. The adjacent schists tend to carry disseminated low grades of between 1 and 4 g/t Au. During a soil-sampling programme conducted by Banro, a number of near-surface hard-rock deposits were discovered and subsequently trenched, drilled and tested with adits. Two near-surface deposits include 3 Mt of ore grading 4,5 g/t Au and 2,5 Mt of ore grading 4 g/t Au (Ruffini, 1998c). There is significant potential  to  increase  the  reserves  in  depth  and  along strike.

    Mobale (Kamituga)

    Ownership:in 2001    Banro Resource Corporation 93 per cent Government  of the Democratic  Republic of Congo 7 per cent The Mobale Mine was, until the recent civil war leading to the change in government, a producing mine which had recovered over 24 t of gold since 1923. Production initially  came  from  underground  workings  accessed  by  a decline shaft and, in the 1950s, two high-grade open pits were developed. Oxidised ore at a cut-off grade of 3 g/t Au was mined from the open pits until the 1960s. The pits were developed to a depth of 40 m. A review of historical work has indicated a potential yield of 15,5 t of gold from the open pits, at a grade of between 1,5 and 2,5 g/t Au. Prior to the mine being flooded in 1997, gold production came solely from the underground operation where min­ ing during its last four years averaged 30 000 t/y of ore at a grade of 9,9 g/t Au (Ruffini,  1998c).  Mining  has taken place to a depth of250 m below suface. Auriferous quartz veins occur in biotite schist. The ore minerals comprise  arsenopyrite, pyrite,  chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite, with minor amounts of galena, sphalerite, bis­ muthinite and aurostibite.


    Ownership in 2001:    Banro Resource Corporation  93 per cent Government  of the Democratic  Republic of Congo 7 per cent
    Alluvial gold was first discovered  in 1931 and produc­ tion from alluvial operations continued through to 1947. Primary gold mineralisation  on Mount  Mwendamboko was discovered in the early 1950s and primary gold min­ ing commenced  from an open pit in 1951. It is estima­ ted that about 4 t of gold were recovered  from  quartz veins grading 10 g/t (Ruffini, 1998c) before civil distur­ bance, resulting  from the Democratic Republic  of Congo's  newly achieved independence from Belgium in  1960, led to the closure of the mines. All the deposits  so far discovered  by Banro  are developed in quartz-vein stockworks within shear zones. Host rocks  are  folded  chlorite-sericite   schist  and  quartzite. Gold occurs in quartz veinlets and also as inclusions in arsenopyrite  and pyrite (Elevatorski,  1995).  According to Banro  Resource  Corporation's independent  consultant, this zone has mineable reserves totalling 11,2 t Au. Although in the 1950s low-grade targets were not economical, the use of heap leach technology  makes them very viable today.


    Ownership in 2001:    Anvil Mining NL 100 per cent
    The geology at Kabobo, 15 km southeast of Luemba, is dominated by Lower- and Mid-Proterozoic terranes, comprising  mainly  metasediments  and  intermediate  to basic intrusives. The presence of PGMs, which occur in intimate association with both quartz-vein gold mineral­ isation  and  disseminated  gold  mineralisation  in  basic host  rocks,  is  also  widely  reported.   In  1998  Anvil Mining  undertook  a review  of  the  pre-1960s  archival data which revealed that extensive  regions had alluvial and  primary  gold  occurrences  (Resource  Information Unit, 1999).


    Ownership in 2001:    Anvil Mining NL 100 per cent
    At Kyimbi,  4 km northwest  of Lake  Tanganyika,  primary  gold  mineralisation  is  reported  to  be  associated with   Proterozoic   metasediments  (talc   schists,   mica schists,  quartzites  and  limestones)  and  tonalitic  intru­ sives. Quartz veins of significant width (up to 10m) and strike length (greater than 1,5 km) are reported to contain gold, silver and PGMs with gold grades consistent-

    ly above 5 g/t. The intermediate and basic intrusives are reported to have disseminated styles of gold mineralisa­ tion, with grades consistently above 3 g/t (Resource Information Unit, 1999).

    Other deposits


    In an area of copper deposits, gold was recovered in the early 1900s at the Ruwe Mine (Elevatorski, 1995), locat­ed just north of Kolwezi. Host rocks are fractured sand­stones with vein-type mineralisation containing gold, sil­ver, platinum and palladium.


    Notwithstanding their  very low  grade, altered rocks enriched through supergene processes akin to elutriation have been mined profitably at Subani, just north of the Moto area (Lavreau, 1984).

    Exploration trends


    Ownership in 2001:   Banro Resource Corporation 93 per cent Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo 7 per cent
    The Twangiza Prospect, 35 km west of the Burundi bor­der, occurs at the crest and southern end of a north-­northwest-striking anticline. Previous work defined a gold resource along an 800 m strike, with a width of up to 300 m. The hydrothermal mineralisation consists of gold-bearing pyrite and arsenopyrite in quartz-carbonate veins and hosts disseminated gold, primarily along the upper contact of diorite sills. Host rocks are intruded by albites. The ores contain 25 per cent ankerite, calcite, gold-bearing arsenopyrite and pyrite. The estimated resource is 104,6 Mt, grading 2,12 g/t Au. Initial miner­alogical analyses indicated that the Twangiza sulphide ore is amenable to conventional crushing, grinding, flotation and cyanidation processing techniques, while the oxide ore is amenable to heap leaching. The Twangiza project is believed to have the potential to produce at least 6 220 kg of gold annually. Alluvial gold is also present.


    Ownership in 2001:   Cluff Mining Ltd
    Cluff was awarded four exploration licences, covering 18,330 km2,  in southern DRC in August 1997. A Mining Convention was signed with the government and approved by Presidential decree on the 28th October 1998. Exploration work during 1998 entailed stream-sediment sampling, pitting and trenching by a team of geologists in an area of known gold occurrences. Initial results have been encouraging with good gold grades, ranging from 4,7 g/t to 138,2 g/t, occurring in primary rock over 14-km strike length. The exploration programme contin­ued in 1999 with drilling and additional trenching.


    Ownership in 2001:   America Mineral Fields Inc 100 per cent Kipushi was a zinc-copper-lead deposit with a history of production. The mineralisation occurs within a breccia zone with associated faulting. In February 1996 America Mineral Fields had exclusive rights, through a frame­ work agreement with Gecamines, to conduct feasibility studies on the deposit as it was also considered to con­ tain gold. Preliminary studies began in January 1997 (Resource Information Unit,  1999).  Deposits  in  the Democratic Republic of Congo containing other miner­als were also being re-assessed for gold.


    Greenstone belts, especially Kilo, Moto and Ngayu, offer a high potential for future gold mining. According to a study carried out in 1994 by the National Centre of Geological and Mine Research, the soil in the Kilo-Moto area is so rich in gold that, with modem extraction meth­ods, it may be possible to recover 6-7 kg/t of gold from escavated rock and soil from around the former mines of Office d'Or de .Kilo-Moto (Okimo). Thousands of arti­sanal miners are working in this region. In certain places the concentrations reach the exceptional figure of 18 kg/t Au. The Kivu Province also offers good potential for future mining.

    • Moto Gold Mines Ltd (Australian) is exploring the Kilo Moto goldfield in Ituri Province. The project includes the following prospects: Pakaka and Pamao, Gorumbwa, Kibali, Durba – Karagba, Megi – Mengu, Ndala, Kombokolo, Agbarabo - Tete Bakangwe. The resource estimate is an indicated 55,40 million tonnes at 2,9 g/t Au for a total of 5,076 million oz gold and 88,63 million tonnes at 3,8 g/t Au for 10,794 million oz of inferred resources of gold. Moto risks having its mining permits cancelled after Okimo, the state-owned gold mining company, accused the company of failing to meet contracts, reported Reuters. Moto's Congolese unit had 90 days to honor contracts with Okimo, or it may have its mining leases revoked or reviewed, the newswire said on 26 January 2007, citing Okimo CEO Victor Kasongo. In terms of the contracts, Moto had committed to repair mining infrastructure and conduct geological surveys in return for a 60% stake in mineral concessions. A feasibility study, released in December, 2007, evaluated the gold project's Indicated Mineral Resources of 77.8 million tons at 2.8 g/t Au for 7.0 million oz, but did not take into account an additional Inferred Mineral Resource base of 98.9 million tons at 3.8 g/t Au for 12.1 million oz, which it says has a conversion rate of close to 100% within key deposits.
      Moto is planning a US$483-million mine, which includes an US$80-million hydroelectric power station, US$78-million for initial mining fleets and an additional US$47-million construction contingency.
      It would be a 3.3 million oz opencast gold mine with a life of 8.5 years, and the six-pit mine is expected to produce 400,000 oz of gold a year. Moto Goldmines reported a 47% increase in Indicated Mineral Resources at the Moto Gold Project in February,2008. Global Mineral Resources for the Project, above a 1.0 g/t Au reporting cut-off, are now estimated to be: Indicated Mineral Resources 95.3 million t @ 3.4 g/t for 10.3 million oz Au Inferred Mineral Resources 96.5 Mt @ 3.6 g/t for 11.3 million oz Au.
    • Many of Randgold Resources existing mines were borne from the group’s own greenfield exploration projects – an exception being Kibali, which it and AngloGold acquired as an exploration project in a C$546m cash-and-share transaction for Moto Goldmines in 2009. The asset has an existing resource base of over 10 million ounces. Kibali will help raise Randgold’s annual production to more than 1.2 million ounces by 2014 from about 800,000 in 2012.. The mine will produce at least 30,000 ounces in 2013, 550,000 in 2014 and average about 600,000 ounces in its first eight years. 

    Gold mineralisation in Kibali is found in volcaniclastics, sedimentary rocks and banded ferruginous cherts.

    Kibali Gold Mine

    Kibali gold mine is situated 560 km north-east of Kisangani in the Orientale province. The site is located in the north-east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa. The gold mine is being developed in an area of 1,836km2 on the Moto goldfields. When completed, it is expected to be one of the largest gold mines of Africa. The open pit and underground integrated mining at Kibali is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2013. The mine will have a life of 18 years. The project is a joint venture (JV) of Rangold (45%), AngloGold Ashanti (45%) and Sokimo (10%). It is being developed and operated by Rangold Resources. The JV expects to invest approximately $1.4bn in the development of the Kibali project. The mine is expected to produce about 600,000 ounces of gold per annum for the first 12 years. Production is expected to start by end of 2013. Kibali gold mine is located within the Moto greenstone belt. The belt contains Archean Kibalian volcano-sedimentary rocks and ironstone-chert horizons. The volcano-sedimentary sequence comprises of sedimentary rocks, variety of pyroclastic rocks, basaltic flow rocks, mafic-intermediate intrusions and intermediate-felsic intrusive rocks. The gold fields at Kibali are characterised by northeast and northwest trending faults. The gold mineralisation is scattered throughout the region. It is mainly found in volcaniclastics, coarse volcanicastics, sedimentary rocks and banded ferruginous cherts.
    The mineralisation is believed to have occurred structurally through quartz-carbonate alteration and pyrite. It is broadly divided into two zones. One part lies in the Kibali-Durba-Karagba which trends northeast and the second part lies in the northwest trending Pakaka-Mengu area. Rangold will be responsible for development and construction of the underground mine. The underground mine is being developed by constructing a tunnel using the box cut method, while also creating a terrace for the processing plant. The integrated mine will comprise of a twin-circuit sulphide and oxide plant, four hydropower stations and a standby high-speed thermal power generator as back-up to be used during the dry season.
    Work on the open pit mine development at Kibali began at the end of the second quarter of 2012. The development contractor for the decline system has been selected. The final design of the system has begun and the vertical shaft will be designed by an engineering company. The Kibali gold project is being developed in two overlapping phases. Phase 1 of the project is being developed from first quarter of 2012 to fourth quarter of 2013. It includes construction of the open pit operations, metallurgical plant, tailings storage facility, hydropower stations, back-up power plant, and all other associated infrastructure. The estimated cost of phase 1 is $920m. Phase 2 will develop the underground mine and is expected to start production in 2014. The cost estimated for the phase is $650m. Mine construction Construction work on the Kibali gold project began in April 2012 and is underway. Approximately 200,000 cubic meters of land has been shifted for the foundation of metallurgical plant and 800,000m³ for the bulk earthworks. Construction of associated infrastructure and earthwork of hydropower station and boxcut are in progress. The underground mine is being developed through twin decline system. The works completed in 2012 were manufacturing of the mills and hydro turbines, and construction of the ROM pad, platform for the vertical shaft and mine assay laboratory.
    • Banro Corporation (Canadian, AMEX:BAA; TSX:BAA) is exploring the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema Provinces of the DRC. The project includes the following prospects: Twangiza, Lugushwa, Namoya and Kamituga. The current resource estimate is 2,72 million oz of measured and indicated resources, plus inferred resources of 8,11 million oz of gold at 1 g/t Au cut-off. According to sources at the Denver Gold Forum in September, 2007, the TSX and AMEX-listed company has retained Canadian investment bank RBC Capital Markets to run a bidding and due diligence process; apparently with the view of selling the company. The two most advanced projects are Twangiza and Namoya. Prefeasibility studies on both would be completed in the first quarter of 2008 and bankable feasibility studies would be done by the third quarter of 2008. Twangiza currently has a total resource estimated at 6.24 million oz of gold. Planning at this stage is for a mine producing 300,000 oz/year over a life of about 13 years at an average cost of $275/oz over the life-of-mine. Namoya is a much smaller deposit with a resource of 1.35 million oz at this stage and forecast average costs of $235/oz over the anticipated life-of-mine.

    Twangiza Gold Mine
    Source: Banro Corporation
    • Gold Fields (South African, NYSE:GFI; JSE:GFIELDS) is doing early stage exploration on the Kisenge Project, Katanga Province in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, some 680 kilometres from the main city of Lubumbashi.
    • Elemental Minerals Ltd is to acquire a 60 per cent interest in the Musefu gold project in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Angola. Gold was discovered there in 1920 and mining began by Belgian interests in 1932. Records kept until 1958 show that total production was 80,385 oz but no exploration work has been done at Musefu for more than 50 years. Historic drilling at one prospect shows intersections including 12,5 m at 7,51 g/t gold and 5 m at 16,09 g/t.
    • Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo (WBK), a Congolese mineral exploration and exploitation company, has filed litigation to validate its Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint exploration venture with La Quinta Resources Corporation, (LAQ.V),which has been thrown into doubt by claims by Banro Corporation’s Congolese subsidiary. La Quinta announced that WBK has commenced an action in a commercial court in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to clear claims by Banro Congo, that Banro signed an earlier agreement concerning WBK's claimed concessions in Maniema and South Kivu Provinces in south eastern DRC.
      The court proceedings seek to block Banro Congo from exploring the concessions as well as compelling the company to pay damages and costs for interference.
      The disputed area has 32 exploration licences held by WBK, totalling 7,010 square kilometres, located adjacent and between Banro’s Lugushwa and Namoya properties in the south of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, which extend 120 kilometres to the west.
      WBK holds extensive mineral leases in the DRC, and has numerous diamond exploration agreements. It has also been instrumental in introducing other companies into the DRC for copper and cobalt exploration. In March, 2007, Banro issued the following statement:

      The properties within the WBK licence area have a long history of both formal and informal mining. They were extensively mined mainly for alluvial gold by BelgikaOr from the early 1940s to the 1970s after which formal mining and exploration ceased.
      At least six previous mining sites can be easily identified, and artisanal mining continues on much of the target areas today.
    • La Quinta Resources Corporation (LAQ.V) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AMIKI (Association Miniere du Kivu sprl) to lease, or acquire all of the Exploration and Exploitation rights of AMIKI on the Kampene Project in South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kampene project covers 49 square Kilometers and includes an Exploration Licence and a Small Miner's Licence to mine and sell all mineral products from the Licence area including Gold, Silver, Coltan, (Columbite and Tantalite) and Cassiterite. Kampene has a long history of extensive mineral production dating back to the 1940's and the Belgian era, when mineral production for Gold, Cassiterite and Coltan formed the economic basis for the formation of the Town of Kampene, complete with its power plant, airstrip, schools churches and hospital. Since the Belgians left, production of gold has continued, first for the Congolese government during the Mobutu era and subsequently by the Rwandan Army during the second war of Liberation. AMIKI have held these claims since 1981 and reclaimed the property after the United Nations supported 2003 Peace Accord. Following the democratic election of 2006 and subsequent revision of the Congolese Mining Laws AMIKI has now been able to convert the licences to a modern Permis d'exploitation number 235 including a Small Miners Exploitation licence allowing immediate production from the site.
      The Kampene Project lies adjacent to a 7,000 square kilometre licence area for gold exploration covering the southern portion of the Twangiza - Namoya Gold Belt, owned by Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo sprl, (WBK) which is the subject of a separate Agreement between LAQ and WBK and is currently in a due diligence process.
    • Mwana Africa plc has a joint venture agreement (80%) with Office des Mines d’Or de Kilomoto (Okimo) over an exploration property in the north-east of the DRC. The joint venture was signed in June 2005. The 3,000 square kilometres project area is a 100 km long belt running from Kilomines, adjacent to AngloGold Ashanti to the south, the Government’s Kilo Moto holdings to the north and to the east of ground held by Gold Fields. It is also located around the Zani-Kodo gold mine. Zani project started before independence and reached total production of 572,000 tonnes at 6,5 g/t, but was abandoned due to unrest in 1964 during the civil war. Zani’s mineralized zone at the surface is 500m long and up to 30m wide, it consists of silicification in sheared greenstone with gold contained in sulphides. At the time of closure Zani’s sulphide reserve was 352,000 tonnes at 8,15 g/t.
    • AngloGold Ashanti (South Africa, NYSE:AU; JSE:ANG) is exploring the Mongbwalu project, a 10 by 15 km block, in the northeast. An inferred resource of two-million ounces to three-million oz has been estimated and an airborne geophysical survey to define additional regional drill targets was planned for 2007, in addition to 70 000 m of drilling.
    • Erongo Energy Limited (ASX code: ERN) is focused on exploring the Maniema Project, which covers 930km² and is located in east central Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa. The Maniema Project is prospective for gold and tin, and is in the same geological setting as the Banro and Kilo-Moto gold deposits. Seven target areas have been identified from previous work, none of which have been previously drill tested. At Kabotshome on Prospect 4804, mineralisation has been identified over more than 1km, with widths of more than 80m. It remains open to the north, south and at depth. Results have included 25m at 2.17 g/t Au from 74m, including 7.25m at 4.89 g/t Au, and 18m at 2.03 g/t Au from 68m including 4m at 6.38 g/t Au. The results confirmed the potential for a  low-grade deposit at open pittable depths and a style of mineralisation that is similar to Banro’s Twangiza and Namoya deposits. Erongo completed a drilling program at the Mitunda and Mbutu prospects in June 2012 that potentially identified two flat-lying mineralised structures. The Company is now planning further diamond drilling at Kabotshome, with results expected by August 2012. Erongo also plans to explore the Kalulu Prospect, a tin soil anomaly surrounded by extensive artisanal workings, in 2012. The Company is currently completing a due diligence review of the Giro Gold Project, in northeast DRC. Erongo has entered into an agreement to acquire up to 60% of four tenements, which are west of Randgold Resources' multi-million ounce Kibali deposits. Evaluation was expected to be complete in July 2012. 

    Oil and Natural Gas

    Production from the upstream oil industry, mainly from offshore fields, is an important contributor to the DRC’s economy. Oil production in 2003 was estimated at 22,000 barrels per day. Proved reserves have been estimated at 1.538 billion barrels (January 2002). There is one oil refinery in the country with a capacity of 15,000 barrels per day. At present it is operating at about 50 percent capacity. There are plans to upgrade the refinery to 50,000 barrels per day, but this is dependent on finding foreign investment and a complete resolution to the political instability.
    Exploration for oil and gas in the DRC began in the 1960s along the country’s Atlantic Ocean coastline at the estuary of the Congo river, which is located between the prolific offshore production region of northern Angola and its oil-rich enclave of Cabinda. The country became an oil producer in 1976 when its offshore fields came on stream. Its entire crude output is exported because the crude characteristics are incompatible with the configuration of the country’s only refinery.
    The Ministry of Mines and Energy regulates the industry, while a new State company, La Congolaise des Hydrocarbures (Cohydro) was formed in 1999 to take responsibility for all activities related to the oil sector, from exploration and production to refining.
    The DRC has seven producing offshore gasfields, most of which is flared. Some of the gas is re-injected and a portion is used in gas-lift operations. Proved reserves have been estimated at 104.8 billion cubic metres (January 2002). Two major three-year projects have been initiated in an attempt to increase production levels both onshore and offshore.
    Various foreign companies are operating in partnership with the government in the upstream oil sector. The most significant being a consortium operating the offshore concessions which includes Chevron, Teikoku Oil of Japan, and Union Oil of California. The Ministry of Mines and Energy is updating petroleum legislature to supervise and control the awarding of exploration permits and production concessions.
    • Oil production: 21,090 bbl/day (2004)
    • Oil exports: 21,090 bbl/day (2006 est.)
    • Oil proved reserves: 1.538 billion bbl (1 January 2002)
    • Natural gas proved reserves: 991.1 million cu m (1 January 2005 est.)
    • Congo Gulf Oil Company (owned by Chevron of the United States (50%), Teikoku Oil Company Ltd of Japan (32.3%), and Unocal Corporation, which merged with Chevron in 2005, (17.7%)] produced approximately 17,000 bbl/d of crude petroleum from seven offshore wells in 2000. Congo Gulf Oil accounted for about 60% of national petroleum production.
    • Perenco operates six onshore fields, with an output of approximately 20,000 barrels per day. Perenco is also the operator of DRC's offshore concession and terminal - assets it acquired from Chevron in 2004.
    • Tullow Oil signed a production Sharing Agreement (PSA) in July 2006 to gain a 48.5% operated interest in Blocks I and II in the prospective Albertine Graben. Blocks I and II cover some 6,500 sq km over the onshore and offshore acreage in Congo (DRC) part of the Albertine Graben which extends into neighbouring Uganda. The planned work programme comprises a number of technical studies in preparation for the acquisition of 400 km of 2D seismic data during the first licence period. Tullow has interests (50-100%) in all three blocks comprising the Ugandan part of the graben where recent exploration has recently proven the existence of a working hydrocarbon system. Five oil discoveries in the Albertine Basin in Uganda have significantly enhanced the prospectivity of the region. As a result an aggressive exploration and appraisal programme is planned for Uganda and Congo (DRC).
    Source: Tullow Oil

    • Heritage Oil Corporation signed a Production Sharing Agreement in the DRC in July 2006 for a 39.5% interest in Blocks I and II in the prospective Albert Basin. Blocks I and II cover over 6,000 km2 over the onshore and offshore acreage in the DRC part of the Albert Basin that extends into neighbouring Uganda.


    YearProductionUnit of Measure% Change
    2002300Metric tonsNA
    2003800Metric tons166.67 %
    20043200Metric tons300.00 %
    20054400Metric tons37.50 %
    20063800Metric tons-13.64 %
    20078900Metric tons134.21 %
    200811800Metric tons32.58 %
    20099400Metric tons-20.34 %

    Kivu Resources Limited is active in the eastern DRC and Rwanda. Historically, the area was an important tin and tantalum producer. Kivu Resources, through its wholly owned local companies (Metal Processing Association SARL in Rwanda, Central African Resources SPRL and Mining and Processing Congo SPRL in the DRC) will hold a number of assets in the DRC and Rwanda including a management agreement with SAKIMA, a state owned company, in the DRC to manage tin and tantalum production from small scale miners; an option to acquire an 80% shareholding in SAKIMA's mining permits; a joint venture with the government of Rwanda on the Gatumba mining permits; as well as a number of prospecting permits in the region. A consortium consisting of EDIN Mining Limited, a mining investment company domiciled in the British Virgin Islands, Ireland based Coronation Capital Limited and Metmar Limited will acquire a 50% stake in Kivu Resources. The consortium has an option to increase its shareholding in Kivu Resources to 70%.

    YearProductionUnit of Measure% Change
    2003120Metric tons, tungsten contentNA
    200420Metric tons, tungsten content-83.33 %
    2005180Metric tons, tungsten content800.00 %
    2006500Metric tons, tungsten content177.78 %
    2007570Metric tons, tungsten content14.00 %
    2008340Metric tons, tungsten content-40.35 %
    2009170Metric tons, tungsten content-50.00 %




    Historically the DRC has been a significant producer of uranium. The Shinkolobwe Mine in the Katanga Province is known for producing ore rich in uranium. Deposits in the area are understood to have been discovered in 1915 and extraction began in the 1920's. Commercial production ceased in 1960.

    The Shinkolobwe mine is a vein type deposit, with most of the deposits having grades between 250 and 8,500 ppm. Uranium extracted from Shinkolobwe was used to develop the atom bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima during the Second World War.
    • UraMin was reportedly interested in buying the Shinkolobwe uranium mine.
    • Brinkley Mining plc has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo ("DRC") which will provide the company's 70% owned subsidiary, Brinkley Africa Ltd, with priority access to the DRC’s uranium resources. The Congo government subsequently said it would block a joint venture between Brinkley Mining and the Atomic Energy Authority (CGEA) after finding terms of a memorandum of understanding between the parties to be 'questionable'.


    • Gécamines (La Générale des Carrières et des Mines), the Congolese state-owned mining company, owns the Kipushi zinc mine. At the height of production, in the late 1980s, Kipushi produced 143,000 tonnes of zinc and 43,000 tonnes of copper. Mining at Kipushi was stopped in 1993 when the government of Mobutu Sese Seko ran out of funds. The mine has 17 million tonnes of ore, with 2,83 million tonnes of zinc and nearly 400,000 tonnes of copper. Gecamines has invited bids to restart the mine despite South African miner Exxaro Resources, formerly Kumba Resources, and Canada’s First Quantum Minerals claim to rights to the project.
    • United Resources won the tender to develop the deposit and will invest up to $400m in the project, Gecamines MD Paul Fortin, announced in February,2007. United Resources, a group of financial companies, won the tender because it offered Gecamines a 37% stake in the project. South Africa's Exxaro Resources and First Quantum Minerals have taken the matter to court in Belgium.
    • A Belgian court ruled on 23 March, 2007, that Congolese mining company Gecamines suspend its tender for investors to develop the Kiphusi zinc deposit, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, paving the way for Exxaro Resources and First Quantum to file lawsuits, that could run into millions of dollars, against the State-owned firm. Exxaro and First Quantum could sue Gecamines on the merits of the case and request the enforcement of the agreements.
    • Ivanplats' Kipushi zinc-copper project marks a second asset in the DRC's Katanga province. Kipushi lies 30 km southwest of Lubumbashi, and produced roughly 60 million tonnes grading 11.03% Zn and 6.78% Cu from 1924 to 1993. Ivanplats owns 68% of the project, with the DRC's state-owned La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines) holding the remainder. Ivanplats submitted an application to extend its exploitation permit at Kipushi on June 15. The property hosts surface mining and processing infrastructure, including: two concentrators, administrative offices, workshops and housing, as well as a connection to the national power grid. Underground access is provided through five shafts, with the No.5 shaft providing primary access to the lower levels. Ivanplats is in the process of dewatering the mine in a bid to refurbish existing shaft infrastructure to the 1,150-m level. According to filings the company estimates US$30 million in remaining expenditures on the refurbishment over the next two years. Kipushi holds a historic resource totalling 17 million indicated tonnes grading 2.23% Cu and 16.76% Zn. But the company's underground exploration will focus on the Big Zinc high grade zone, which hosts 4.7 million historic tonnes grading 38.6% Zn and 0.76% Cu.
    Mining in the Ituri Province of the Congo
    A Contemporary Profile
    by David Barouski; May 14, 2007

    Most people who became aware of the 2nd Congo War (1998 to 2003 ) did so because of the violence unleased in the (then) Ituri District, which was created in June of 1999 by General James Kazini of the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF). After the Lusaka Accords were signed and the UPDF officially pulled out of the country, the neighboring countries of Uganda and Rwanda aggravated and exploited ethnic differences to create numerous militias that went to war over the vast gold tracts in Ituri. The illegal sale of this gold in neighboring countries served to fund the war by purchasing arms, military uniforms, and other supplies. Incomprehensable acts of violence and rape occurred, and child soldiers were the norm. Today, with the aid of U.N. forces, Ituri has found a relative peace.

    Ituri is unique compared to the Kivu provinces to the south because throughout the 1st Congo War (1996 to 19997) to the present day, war over minerals has always been about gold and timber. The rest of Northeastern Congo went through several distinct phases where one particular commodity was more sought after than another. When the 2nd Congo War broke out, diamonds were the most coveted mineral until mid-2000. In 2000, the coltan (columbium-tantalite) boom occurred due to increased military-industrial spending, and the arrival of popular electronics equipment (the cell phone boom, Sony Playstation, etc.), which drastically increased market demand for coltan. What started off in 1999 as a $20 (U.S.) per pound commodity rose to $380 (U.S.) per pound by December of 2000. With 80% of the world’s coltan reserves, fierce fighting for the mining sites claimed countless victims.(1) The world market reserves quickly became so saturated with smuggled coltan that the price plummeted back down by the end of 2001. The smugglers in the Kivus then focused on the highest grade ores that were found primarily in Walikale Territory.

    After the signing of the Sun City Final Act that officially ended the 2nd Congo War in 2003, world demand for tin rose sharply due to new environmental laws in the European Union (E.U.) and Japan. Cassiterite, a mineral that is smelted into tin oxide, became the most desirable commodity in the Congo along with niobium, a chemically-unique form of columbium used in heat-resistant alloys that are utilized in a variety of applications. The Lueshe mine in Congo holds the only large reservoir of niobium in the world. To this day, niobium and cassiterite remain the most coveted mineral to smuggle in the Kivus for the remaining dissidents, particularly by Rwandan-backed General Nkundabatware and his men in North Kivu Province.

    Throughout the wars and for years before that, multinational corporations sought to exploit the same gold mining areas in Ituri that the militias did. The mines are primarily concentrated around the towns of Mongbwalu, Watsa, Durba, Kilo, and Moto in very remote areas. Today, with some likeness of peace, the fight for control of the concessions will begin anew. The Deputy Minister of Mines, Victor Kasongo, has begun a review of the mining contracts for the newly elected Congolese Government and he said 50% of the contracts may be voided.(2) All official negotiations for mining rights have ended until all the contracts have been reviewed. This could prove to be troublesome for both the Congolese Government and the mining companies.

    The mining concession that includes the Watsa/Durba area (OKIMO Concession #38) was obtained by the Canadian gold-mining firm Barrick Gold from the Office of Kilo-Moto (OKIMO) on 3rd August, 1996 before the fall of President Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko. OKIMO, the state-owned gold mining company, became a joint partner in Barrick’s project. Barrick initially became interested in the concession after the U.S.-based consulting firm Davy McKee Corporation completed a feasibility study of the area in 1991. Between October and December of 1996, while the war was raging in the area southwest of the concession, Barrick completed several of their own exploratory drills, but the results were less promising than the reports OKIMO gave the company. In 1996, Barrick also made a side deal with General Kpama Baramoto, head of President Mobutu’s Guarde Civile. General Baramoto allowed Barrick to mine gold around his base in Bunia in exchange for funds to rebuild Bunia’s airport.(3)

    Barrick restructured their mining contract after the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (AFDL-CZ) headed by Laurent Kabila took power in 1997, but they retained the mining rights to Concession #38. They reportedly began these negotiations before L. Kabila reached the capital city of Kinshasa.(4 ) Barrick was allowed to keep the contract President Mobutu Sese Seko signed after Laurent Kabila took power because L. Kabila’s Finance Minister Mawampanga Mwana Nanga (who later became Minister of Agriculture) insisted he honor “good faith” contracts between President Mobutu and certain foreign mining firms. This was an unusual move because Minister Nanga was known to be a staunch critic of foreign mining firms. He had already canceled the mining contracts of Belgium’s Union Minère (now Umicore) and DeBeers/Anglo-American despite strong protests from Nelson Mandela. However, Minister Nanga apparently had a soft spot for American-connected firms, perhaps because he graduated from Pennsylvania State University and taught at Kentucky University.(5)

    Minister Nanga urged AFDL-CZ’s Mining Minister Kambale Kabila Mututulo to sign off a one billion dollar (U.S.) deal to Jean-Raymond Boulle’s Hope, Arkansas-based (at the time) American Mineral Fields Incorporated (AMF) (now Adastra), one of Barrick’s business partners. The deal was for two huge mining concessions in Kipushi and Kolwezi, located in the Katanga Province (then Shaba Province). Mr. Boulle desperately needed access to the minerals because he was bidding to acquire the contract to build a new space station to replace Mir, a $60 billion dollar (U.S.) endeavor. His acquisition of the Mir contract is remarkable when considering AMF was only incorporated in 1995.(6)

    A major competitor of Anglo-American with several former Anglo-American/DeBeers directors on its executive team, AMF already had the deal lined up in April 1997 after Mr. Boulle (a Briton born in Mauritius) visited L. Kabila in Goma after the AFDL-CZ/RPA captured Lubumbashi (Katanga Province) and put Katangan Governor Kyungu ku Mwanza under house arrest.(7) Mr. Boulle reportedly fronted $50 million dollars (U.S.) to L. Kabila for the deal and he likely used some of it to buy arms and equipment.(8) However, AMF did eventually partner with Anglo-American.

    American Diamond Buyers, another company owned by Mr. Boulle and Joseph Martin (and a competitor of DeBeers), reportedly paid L. Kabila $25,000 (U.S.) to buy a diamond mining license from the AFDL-CZ.(9) When the company opened for business in Kisangani before the 1st Congo War was even over (but after the ADFL-CZ controlled the town), Zairians literally broke the door down to sell their diamonds. Several people could even be seen around town wearing tee-shirts given out for free by the company.(10)

    Mr. Boulle (a former Anglo-American executive who also acted as an advisor to Guinea’s Mining Minister) also allowed L. Kabila and Minister Nanga to use his personal corporate Lear jet for transportation around the country. In return, besides the mining contracts, L. Kabila allowed Mr. Boulle to set up a trading post in Mbuji-Mayi immediately after the AFDL-CZ captured the city during the same month Lubumbashi fell. He also greatly reduced the price of AMF’s annual mining license fees.(11) Mr. Boulle and two other connections to AMF at the time, Chairman Michael McMurrough and business associate Jackson Stephens, were reported to be friends of Bill Clinton since his days as Arkansas’ governor.(12)

    One week before the AFDL-CZ took Kinshasa, AMF chartered a group of investors to meet L. Kabila. Mr. Boulle hoped to attract investors for his new mining projects. Representatives from CIBC Wood Gundy, Bunting Warburg (a branch of London's SBC Warburg), First Bank of Boston, Citibank, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, and Goldman Sachs attended along with several reporters, Robert Briscotti (investment banker), Robin Sanders (Director of African Affairs for the NSC), and Cynthia McKinney (former U.S. Congresswoman for the State of Georgia).(13) The meeting went over well. Washington D.C. based New Millenium Investment Limited signed a joint venture deal with the AFDL-CZ to run Goma’s Development Bank. Bethesda, Maryland-based Comsat signed on to sell satellite phones in Goma.(14)

    Almost immediately after AMF got its mining contract with the AFDL-CZ, DeBeers sent the head of its Kinshasa branch (Nicholas Davenport) and an Anglo-American director to meet with L. Kabila and Minister Mawampanga in Goma to plead for a contract. Under the Mobutu regime, DeBeers held a 4% stake in MIBA while its Central Selling Organization had rights to the entire Zairian state production. DeBeers also had five comptoirs in Zaire that bought from artisian miners.(15)

    DeBeers was also deeply entrenched in Zaire through Anglo-American Corporation (which is nearly 50% owned by DeBeers), one of its business partners. The Canadian company Banro Corporation merged with Belgium-based Mines D'or Du Zaire (MDDZ) in September 1996 shortly before President Mobutu left Zaire in exile. A ~13% shareholder in Banro was U.K.-based Cluff Mining. The majority shareholder in Cluff Mining was Anglo-American.(16) Through the MDDZ merger, Banro was able to obtain a 93% interest in SAKIMA.(17 )Today, Banro is actively mining gold in Twangiza, Kamituga, Lugushwa, and Namoya in South Kivu.

    Another company who wanted in on the action was First Quantum Minerals. Their Bwana Mkubwa branch fronted money to Laurent Kabila when he was with the AFDL-CZ and had not yet reached Kinshasa. They received mining authorizations in return.(18)

    First Quantum recently tried to buy out Adastra (formerly AMF) and still holds lucrative concessions in the Congo. On their Board of Directors sits Chairman Phillip Pascall (Rio Tinto), Rupert Pennant-Rea (Chairman of Henderson Group plc; Director of British American Tobacco plc, Sherrit International Corporation, Gold Fields Limited, and Rio Narcea; former editor for The Economist and the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England), and Andrew Adams (AngloGold).

    Barrick created a joint-venture with Anglo-American in March 1998 to explore OKIMO Concession #38 in preparation for active mining. In 1998, Anglo-American created its AngloGold Limited subsidiary and in May 1998, the firm purchased nearly half of Barrick’s stakes in the Congo.(19) Exploration occurred from February to August 1998 but their staff was forced to flee in August due to the outbreak of the 2nd Congo War. AngloGold Limited assumed operational control of Concession # 38 on 5 August, 1998, but they were never able to actively mine the concession because of the war. OKIMO repossessed the land after they fled.(20) After OKIMO reclaimed the concession, Barrick made a side deal with RCD Mining Minister Alex Thambwe in 1999 for the rights to mine the land, but Barrick was unable to mine on the land because of the ongoing war on the mining concessions in Ituri.(21)

    After the 2nd Congo War began, the UPDF and the Rally for Congolese Democracy-Liberation Movement (RCD-ML) occupied Watsa until they withdrew as a provision of the Lusaka Accords in 1999. Militias in Ituri multiplied drastically in 2000 to seize control of the power void left behind when the UPDF withdrew. Barrick Gold sub-contracted its concession to Uganda’s Caleb International, owned by General Salim Saleh, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s half-brother.(22) It appears the intent was to hold and protect the concession for Barrick until the fighting stopped. Meanwhile, the Hema Union for Congolese Patriots (UPC), RCD-ML, Jean-Pierre Bemba’s Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), the Lendu Nationalist and Integrationist Front (FNI), People’s Armed Forces of Congo (FAPC), and various other factions fought over Watsa and Durba until most of them either disarmed or were driven out by MONUC/FARDC offensives last year. The MLC moved into the area until mid-2006, when MONUC gained full control over Watsa.(23)

    Barrick’s business practices have not gone completely unnoticed. In December 2002, Barrick Gold was sued in an anti-trust case for literally manipulating the price of gold on the world market. Banking giant J.P. Morgan (prior to their merger with Chase Manhattan) was an investor in a company called Argo Partnership, who became a significant shareholder in TrizecHahn. Barrick bought TrizecHahn , making J.P. Morgan a shareholder in Barrick Gold by virtue of the buyout. J.P. Morgan reportedly loaned Barrick gold reserves from a central bank to short-sell on the market, increasing the supply and driving the price down. The money from the gold sales was invested in money market instruments at J.P. Morgan for a higher return than the gold borrowing rate, thus creating a profit. The short sales were considered off-sheet assets, so the purchase of gold off the market was not reflected as a loss in their balance sheet.(24)

    Barrick would then mine the gold needed to replace the borrowed stores at the central bank, but a clause in the J.P. Morgan gold lending deal gave Barrick an infinite number of years to pay back the central bank. This meant Barrick could buy up the gold supplies to drive the price up, or they could dump their borrowed stores and drop the price generating a profit for both Barrick and J.P. Morgan. Recall that during 1998, as Barrick was evicted from the Congo, the price of gold was falling considerably. It has been rising steadily since 2001. (Ibid)

    Currently, Barrick has terminated all non-project hedge contracts. They have allotted $23 million dollars (U.S.) for exploratory efforts in Africa for the 2007 fiscal year. Another $26 million dollars (U.S.) is delegated to explore the Sedibelo PGM deposit on the Bushveld Complex in South Africa. They completed a feasibility study on the Buzwagi gold project in Tanzania, where Barrick is also opening a joint venture project with Xstrata Nickel in Kabanga. Barrick is also eager to develop their Reko Diq joint venture in the Baluchistan Province of Pakistan.(25) They are also selling all their shares in NovaGold.

    The Baluchistan Province is the largest province in Pakistan. It borders the Helmand Province of Afganistan, an opium crop district and Taliban (meaning “students” in Arabic) stronghold. The Baluchistan Province has been used as a rear base for training and staging their armed forces. The Taliban are a Nationalist Sunni faction comprised of Pashtuns, who form a very sizable population in Baluchistan Province. The area is awash in locally ruled fiefdoms by tribal chiefs and mullahs (Islamic clergymen). In Pakistan, they are usually from the Wahhabi or Salafi sect.

    The individuals behind Barrick Gold are so well-connected they are worth noting in detail:

    Howard Beck: Corporate Director of Barrick Gold. Formerly involved with BAE, and Citibank Canada. BAE bought out United Defense Industries (a company formerly owned by The Carlyle Group) in 2005. Just recently, BAE was the subject of a corruption probe in Great Britain, but Prime Minister Tony Blair and Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith ordered the investigation suspended. Some British officials believe the firm lobbied Lord Goldsmith to drop the investigation.(26) BAE is a 20% owner of Airbus.(27)

    Gustavos Cisneros: Board Member and International Advisory Board Member of Barrick Gold. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Cisneros Group, which includes television and radio networks, broadcasting and telecommunications operations, programming and production companies for television and radio, supermarkets, beverage production, fast food outlets, video franchises, and music production. He essentially owns the Latin-American media market.

    Mr. Cisneros is Venuzeuelan and a stauch opponent of Venezuela’s current Populist President Hugo Chavez. Mr Cisneros is a founding (and current) member of the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Director of the International Advisory Committee of Chase Manhattan Bank. He is director of the Chairman's Council of the Americas Society and a member of the International Advisory Council of the United States Information Agency, the Board of Overseers of the International Center for Economic Growth, the International Advisory Board of Power Corporation of Canada, the International Advisory Board of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, the International Advisory Board of AEA Investors Incorporated, and is a board member of Panamerican Beverages Incorporated (a Coca-Cola bottling company).

    In addition, he is a Trustee of Rockefeller University in New York and sits on the Board of Georgetown University. He also sits on the International Advisory Board of Columbia University, the Advisory Committee for the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, and the Rockefeller University Fund. Mr. Cisneros acts as the Commissioner of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission and is a member of the Council for Latin American Studies at John Hopkins University. In addition, Mr. Cisneros is a Governor of the World Economic Forum.(28)

    Donald Carty: A Corporate Director of Barrick Gold, Dell, Sears and Roebuck. He is also the Chairman of Virgin America, Porter Airlines, and is the former Chief Executive Officer of American Airlines.

    Marshall Cohen: Lawyer for Cassel’s Brock & Blackwell, and former Canadian Deputy Minister of several areas including Finance, Industry, Trade & Commerce, Energy, and Mines & Resources. He is a Corporate Director of Barrick Gold, American-International Group, TD Ameritrade, Premcor Incorporated, Metaldyne Corporation, Toronto-Dominion Bank, and Lafarge Corporation. He is a member of the International Advisory Committee for The Blackstone Group. Formerly, he was the International Councillor for CSIS, and a former member of the Executive Committee of The British-North American Committee and The Trilateral Commission. He was also the Chairman of the International Trade Advisory Committee for the Government of Canada.

    John Crow: Corporate Director of Barrick Gold. He is the former Governor of the Bank of Canada (1987 to 1994); Chairperson of the Central Bank Governors of the Group of Ten countries, and one-time head of the North American Division of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    Brian Mulroney: Corporate Director and Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold and most notably, the former Prime Minister of Canada (1984 to 1993). He is a Director of Archer Daniels Midland Company, the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, and the Cendant Corporation. He is Chairman of Trizec Properties Incorporated, America Online-Latin America Incorporated, and Quebecor Incorporated. He sits on the International Advisory Board of the China International Trust and Investment Corporation, JPMorgan Chase, Independent News and Media, Power Corporation, Bombardier Incorporated, Aerospace Group - North America, and General Enterprise Management Services Limited. In addition, he is an honorary trustee of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Senior Partner in the Ogilvy Renault law firm.

    Anthony Munk: Peter Munk’s son. He is a Director of Barrick Gold and Onex.

    Peter Munk: Founder, Director; member of the International Advisory Board; and former Chief Executive Officer of Barrick Gold and the Trizec Corporation. Mr. Munk also founded Clairtone Sound Corporation. In addition, he is a member of the World Gold Council and the 1001 Club. Mr. Munk is a close friend of infamous Saudi Arabian arms dealer Adnan Khoshoggi, who was involved in financing and setting up arms deals to Iran during the Iran-Contra scandal.(29) Mr. Khoshoggi helped Mr. Munk launch Barrick Gold in 1983, but later sold his shares to Mr. Munk just before details of his involvement in Iran-Contra broke in 1985.

    Lord Charles Powell of Baywater: Lord Powell is a cross-bench member of Britain’s Upper House of Parliament and the House of Lords, where he sits on the Economic Affairs Committee. He served as the Private Secretary and Advisor on Foreign Affairs and Defense to former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Lord Powell is currently an Advisor to the Chairmen of BAE and Eastern Star Publications. He is a principal at New Bridge Strategies, a business advisory firm currently working in Iraq. He holds many directorships, including: British Mediterranean Airways, Caterpillar Incorporated, Financière Agache, Moet-Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Sagitta Asset Management (Chairman), Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Jardine Matheson & Company Group, Textron Corporation, Yell Group, Limited Schindler Holdings, Switzerland, and Northern Trust Global Services.

    He also serves on the Advisory Board of Barrick Gold, Diligence (a PMC), Hicks Muse. Delta HPC (a former business partner of Lockheed Martin), GEMS Private Equity Fund, Rolls-Royce European Strategy Board, Textron International, Wingate Capital, Magna Corporation, the European Advisory Group GMBH, Thales U.K., and Alfa Capital. Lord Powell is Chairman of the Said Business School Foundation’s (Oxford University) Board of Trustees. He is also active with several non-corporate groups including trustee postitions at the Aspen Institute (USA), British Museum, and the Karim Rida Said Foundation. He is a Director of the Atlantic Partnership, the Singapore Millennium Foundation, and the U.K.-China Forum. He is also President of the China-Britain Business Council and a member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

    William Cohen: Member of Barrick Gold and Intel Corporation’s International Advisory Boards. Intel was a major consumer of tantalum in the early 2000s during the computer industry boom. He is currently the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Cohen Group, an international business consulting firm. He is currently a Director at Viacom and AIG. Mr. Cohen is also CNN’s World Affairs Contributor. He was the U.S. Secretary of Defense (1997 to 2001) during the beginning of the 2nd Congo War and NATO’s bombing of Kosovo.

    Prior to working for the DOD, he was a U.S. Senator for the state of Maine (1979 to 1997) and served on the Select Committee on Intelligence (1983 to 1991, 1995 to 1997), the Governmental Affairs Committee ), Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in George H.W. Bush’s administration) and the Armed Services Committee (1979 to 1997). In addition, he served on the Iran-Contra investigative committee in 1987. Before he was elected Senator, he was a House Representative for Maine’s 2nd District ). While in Congress, he served on the House Judiciary Committee that investigated the Watergate scandal. He served on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations ) on its Middle East Study Group and currently works for several think-tanks and committees including the CSIS (Counselor and Trustee) , the School for Advanced International Studies, the William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce at the University of Maine in Orono (Chairman), and the Brookings Institution. He established and led U.S. delegations to the American-Arab Dialogue in Cairo and is the Chairman Emeritus of the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council. Mr. Cohen is also a former trustee of the Africa Foundation. In May 1992, he got Rwandan opposition parties to meet with RPF officials in Brussels.(30)

    Paul G. Desmarais Senior: Member of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold and Chase Manhattan Bank N.A. He is Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Power Corporation, and honorary President of the Canada-China Business Council. He is a former Director of TotalElfFina; former member of the Trilateral Commission; current member of the Privy Council, and a Companion of the Order of Canada. He is on the Advisory Board of the Carlyle Group and CSIS. Mr. Desmarais is a personal friend of the Bush family (Former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush is the former Chairman of Barrick Gold’s International Advisory Board [1995 to 1999] and was a personal golfing partner of President Mobutu (31) and Brian Mulroney.(32)

    Vernon Jordan Junior: He was Chairman of Bill Clinton’s presidential transition team and one of his top political advisors as well. He is currently a Senior Counselor practicing general, corporate, legislative and international law with the firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer, & Feld. In addition, he is a member of the Bilderberger Group, the Iraq Study Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Trilateral Commission. He sits on the Board of Directors for American Express, Dow Jones & Company, Lazard Freres and Company, J.C. Penney Company, Xerox Corporation, Ashbury Automotive Group, and the LBJ Foundation. He is also a member of the International Advisory Boards of Barrick Gold and Daimler-Chrysler. Mr. Jordan serves on the Board of Governors for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies; a Senior Managing Director with Lazard Freres & Company; and a Trustee of Howard University. He is a former Director for Revlon, Sara Lee, Corning, and Nabisco.

    He has been involved with several African-American civil rights, equality, and empowerment groups. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Urban League, Incorporated; Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund; Director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council; attorney-consultant at the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity; Assistant to the Executive Director of the Southern Regional Council; and Georgia Field Director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He also received numerous presidential appointments including a spot on the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on South Africa.

    Karl Otto Pöhl: Member of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold, the Carlyle Group, former Chairman of the German Bundesbank (Central Bank) from 1980 to 1991, and former German Governor of the IMF. He served in Germany’s Economics and Finance Ministries. He is currently a partner in Sal. Oppenheim Junior & Cie investment bank; member of the Bilderberger Group; Director of GAMCO Investors Incorporated and Gabelli Funds LLC; and Senior Advisor to the Ahli United Bank.

    Nathaniel Rothschild: International Advisory Board member of Barrick Gold and Co-chairman of Atticus Capital. He is a Director of RIT Capital Partners PLC, Trigranit (Chairman), The Rothschild Foundation, JNR Limited (Chairman), and a member of the Belfer Center's International Council at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Mr. Rothschild is on the International Advisory Council of the Brookings Institute. Mr. Rothschild is the only son of Jacob Rothschild and belongs to the well-known Rothschild family of bankers.

    Andrew Young: Member of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold, Argus Newspapers, and Delta Airlines. He was a close personal friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, a prominent African-American civil rights activist in the U.S. Mr. Young is a former Ambassador to the U.N. (1977 to 1979) under President Jimmy Carter and a Georgian Congressman from 1973 to 1977. He served two terms as Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia where he was Co-Chair of the Atlanta Committee for the Centennial Olympic Games in 1996. He was appointed by Bill Clinton to chair the Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund. Mr. Young is the former Chairman of Working Families for Wal-Mart and the Southern Africa Development Fund. He was also a Director of the Drum Major Institute and a consultant for Nike. In addition, Mr. Young is the former President of the National Council of Churches (2000 to 2001) and a former member of the National Security Study Group.

    He is the current Co-Chair and Co-Founder of GoodWorks International (GoodWorks is a member of the CCA; Associate of the African-American Institute; affiliate of the Council of Foreign Relations, and Senior Advisor of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Client corporations of GoodWorks include Barrick Gold, ChevronTexaco, Monsanto, Nike, and Coca-Cola.) and a founder of the CCA. He teaches public affairs as a professor of policy studies at Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Mr. Young is a Director of Argus, Host Marriott Corporation, Archer Daniels Midland, Cox Communications, Atlanta Market Center, the Atlanta Falcons, and Thomas Nelson Publishing. He is currently a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, the Council of Foreign Relations, and is an active Freemason. Mr. Young is also currently promoting international investment in Rwanda and is working on creating a convention of international investors in Kigali that will be the largest African business summit to date. It is currently scheduled for 2010.

    In addition to George Herbert Walker Bush, Barrick Gold has several other former directors with major credentials:

    Howard Baker Junior: Tennessee’s Republican Senator from 1967 to 1985, including two terms each as Senate Majority and Senate Minority Leader. He then served as President Ronald Regan’s Chief of Staff in 1987 to 1988 . After parting ways with President Reagan, he joined Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell (1989 to 2001), a lobbying firm for hire that represented Barrick Gold. In 2001, he was called to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. In 2005, he stepped down from his post and reunited with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz as a full partner. He also joined the Advisory Board of Citigroup. Mr. Baker also runs the University of Tennessee-Knoxville Center for Public Policy named in his honor.

    Edward Ney: This former director of Barrick was George Herbert Walker Bush’s Ambassador to Canada (1989 to 1992); a reward for running Bush’s presidential ad campaign in 1988. Mr. Ney took charge of Young and Rubicam (acquired by WPP Group in 2000), a public relations agency-for-hire in 1970 and he built it into the largest firm of its kind. Mr. Ney was named Chairman of the Advisory Board at Burson-Marsteller, a subsidiary of Young and Rubicam. Burston-Marsteller is also a public relations firm-for-hire who was hired to cover up Shell’s nefarious business policies in Nigeria. They were also hired by General Jorge Videla’s violent regime in Argentina, and the Government of Indonesia during the time they were enacting their murderous policies during their occupation of East Timor. Burson-Marsteller also worked for Monsanto during their Bovine Growth Hormone scandal; lobbied for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and tobacco companies; covered for Union Carbide after the Bhopal disaster, and worked to improve Exxon’s image after the Valdez spill in Alaska.(33)

    John Trevor Eyton: Mr. Eyton was a Canadian Senator first appointed in 1990 by (then) Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. He is a Director of Brazoil, Coca Cola, IQ Ludorum, Nayarit Gold, Owen Media Partners, General Motors Canada, IMAX, Partners for Youth, Nestle Canada, Noranda Incorporated, the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris), Excor-Zerust Canada, and Brookfield Asset Management. Mr. Eyton is Chairman of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Excor-Zerust Canada, Ivernia, Multi-Games Incorporated, Richview Resources, and Silver Bear Resources. He is Governor of the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Junior Achievement Canada, and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. Previously, he served as a Senior Partner at the law firm of Tory Tory Deslauriers & Binnington and as Chairman of EdperBrascan (now Brookfield Asset Management). He is also a member of the Trilateral Commission.

    Richard Helms: Director of the CIA from 1966 to 1973 under President Richard Nixon and Deputy Director of the CIA under John McCone. Prior to this, he worked in the Office of Strategic Services, the parent department of the CIA. During President Nixon’s term, he was the Ambassador to Iran. He was involved with Augusto Pinochet’s coup of Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973. He also served on the board of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, which was embroiled in laundering money from international arms dealers and terrorists. He was a Director of the Carlyle Group, a consultant for Bechtel, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Sources in Aru on the Congo-Uganda border stated “white executives” from Barrick Gold fly in and inspect Watsa every few months, but the company refuses to resume operations until fighting stops in the area. With MONUC in full control of Watsa, the fighting has ceased. MONUC’s logistics branch has established regular flights there. Barrick can now try and repossess their mining license for the concession. The infrastructure in Watsa, Doko, and Durba has been restored. Durba has a working grinder and Nzoro has an active hydro-electric power source. The Kenyan construction firm Civicon began work on a 108 kilometer road leading from the Vura border post to Watsa and should be finished in nine months time barring the return of armed warfare in the area. The Australian/Canadian mining firm Moto Goldmines Limited provided some of the equipment for the job as per a contractual agreement with the Congolese Government.(34)

    Barrick Gold is a former business partner of the previously mentioned firm American Mineral Fields Incorporated (now named Adastra Minerals), who still owns their extensive concessions in Katanga Province. Barrick was also partnered with the infamous and now defunct mining firm Bre-X Minerals Limited.(35)

    One of Barrick’s current business partners is South Africa-based Gold Fields. Gold Fields purchased Barrick’s stake in South Deep, a mine located west of Johannesburg they acquired when Placer Dome was purchased. As part of the deal, Barrick was given over $300 million dollars (U.S.) worth of shares in Gold Fields.(36) Notables associated with Gold Fields include Chief Executive Officer Ian Cockerill (former Executive Officer for Business Development and African International Operations for AngloGold Ashanti Limited), Director John Hopwood (former Director and head of the Mergers and Acquisitions Division of Ernst & Young’s Corporate Finance; former Executive Director of Gold Fields of South Africa Limited), Director Patrick Ryan (former Executive Vice President of Mining Operations, Development and Exploration at Phelps Dodge), Tokyo Sexwale (Chairman of Mvelaphanda Resources Limited), Rupert Pennant-Rea (Chairman of Henderson Group plc; Director of British American Tobacco plc, Sherrit International Corporation, First Quantum Minerals, and Rio Narcea; former editor for The Economist and the former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England)

    Barrick also works with Australia-based Emperor Gold, who is a minority stakeholder in Barrick’s Porgera mine project in Papau New Guinea. Emperor’s Non-Executive Director Robert J. McDonald was a Managing Director of NM Rothschild & Sons (Australia) Limited and also held numerous positions with Rio Tinto, who also mines in Papau New Guinea. Non-Executive Chairman Geoffrey Campbell used to manage Merrill Lynch’s Investment Managers’ Gold and General Fund, one of the largest investment funds of its kind in the world.

    Emperor is a subsidiary of DRDGold Limited, based in South Africa. Mr. Campell acts as its Non-Executive Chairman as well. Director James Turk founded GoldMoney Network Limited, a digital gold transaction system. He also worked with Chase Manhattan Bank before managing the Commodity Department of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. Alternate Director Kobus Dissel hails from AngloGold.

    Another partner of Barrick Gold was Ashanti Goldfields Limited, a company later purchased by Anglo-American Corporation and renamed AngloGold-Ashanti Limited. AngloGold-Ashanti is actively mining on Concession #40 in and around Mongbwalu, where local Anglo officials stand accused of illegally paying off the FNI in 2004 to mine the area in safety. They also reportedly allowed the FNI and its President Floribert Njabu to use company vehicles, jets (chartered by Kilwa Air, who also chartered for MotoGoldmines Limited), lawyers, and housing. Jean-Pierre Bemba was reportedly the man who suggested AngloGold work with the FNI in order to start mining in 2004. William Swing was supportive of AngloGold-Ashanti’s exploration plans in FNI territory. At the time, MONUC did not have a presence in Mongbwalu, only Bunia. AngloGold-Ashanti employees (at the time) who had direct contact with the FNI were Ashley Lassen (Head of AngloGold-Ashanti’s Uganda branch), Howard Fall (Project Manager in Mongbwalu), Jean-Claude Kanku (consultant), Desire Sangara (AngloGold-Ashanti’s Manager in the Kinshasa office), and Mark Hanham (Engineer).(37)

    AngloGold’s Chief Executive Officer Bobby Godsell (former Chairman of the World Gold Council) dismissed the allegations and announced they were going to continue work in Mongbwalu, but he promised to pull out of the Congo if his workers were forced to pay militias off to ensure their safety.(38) In the meantime Anglo-American is looking to sell AngloGold-Ashanti. Newmont Mining has shown interest in a merger with AngloGold, which would seriously dilute Anglo-American’s ownership, but not eliminate it. Despite the plans to sell off AngloGold, Anglo-American still plans for formally open two offices in the Congo: one in Kinshasa and one in Lubumbashi. Anglo-American, which posted a whopping 46% profit in 2006, is looking to buy back three billion dollars (U.S.) worth of shares and invest in copper projects in the Congo.(39)

    (Then) AngloGold-Ashanti’s President and Non-Executive Director Sir Samuel Kwesi Jonah, reportedly backed the RCD financially after L. Kabila revoked a mining contract from him while he was the Chief Executive Officer of Ashanti Goldfields Limited. Ashanti originally bought the concession from Mindev for only five million dollars (U.S.). After the RCD/ANC controlled the area, the RCD’s Minister of Mining Alex Thambwe returned the contract to Ashanti Goldfields.(40) Sir Jonah resigned from AngloGold-Ashanti’s Board of Directors in February 2007.

    Sir Jonah is a Board Member of Lonmin, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund (Comafin), Transnet Limited, Anglo-American Platinum Corporation Limited, the Ashesi University Foundation, Equinox Minerals (Chairman), the uranium-producing nuclear power company UraMin Incorporated (Chairman), Anglo-American Corporation, Ghana Airways, Moto Goldmines Limited, Scharrig Mining (Chairman), Sierra Rutile Limited (Chairman), Sierra Resources Holding, Range Resources Limited (which holds the rights to all the minerals in the Somali semi-autonomous state of Puntland), Titanium Resources Group, Copper Resources Corporation (with George Arthur Forrest and George Andrew Forrest), Standard Bank Group of South Africa, Bayport Holding Limited, Transnet Limited, Equator Exploration Limited in Nigeria and São Tomé & Príncipé (with Baronness Lynda Chalker), and he is a former director of Mittal Steel (currently in the proverbial hot seat for a contract they signed with the government of Liberia)

    He is a member of the Advisory Council of the U.N. Secretary General's Global Compact, South African President Thabo Mbeki's International Investment Advisory Council, the African Regional Advisory Board of the London Business School, First Atlantic Merchant Bank, Defiance Mining, Ghanian President John Kufuor's Ghana Investors' Advisory Council, President Obasanjo Nigerian Investors’ Advisory Council, and serves as a Presidential Advisor to President Mohamud Muse Hersi of the Somali state of Puntland. He also holds an honorary British knighthood, the Star of Ghana and several other international awards and titles. He recently announced plans to open his own firm called Jonah Mining.

    Currently, the Canadian company African Mineral Fields Incorporated (AMFI), recently purchased by Nevada-based Magnus Resources Incorporated, owns rights to a section of Concession #38. African Mineral Fields also owns gold mining concessions in Uganda at Mwerusandu, and Mitoma, Mubende, and Lugazi. Bruce Milne, AMFI’s Uganda Exploration and Country Manager, originally discovered the concessions Barrick Gold currently owns in Tanzania. John Dixon, a consulting geologist for AMFI, once worked as a consultant for Placer Dome from 2000 to 2006. Placer Dome was bought out by Barrick in late 2005.

    Moto Goldmines Limited (headed by Sir Samuel Jonah) entered into a joint venture on Concessions # 38 and #39 (which includes the mines in Durba, Karagwa, and Chauffeur) through its subsidiary Borgakim Mining SPRL (a subsidiary of Border Energy Limited, which is itself a subsidiary of Moto Goldmines Australia Limited, whose parent company is Moto Goldmines Limited). Originally, a joint venture was created between the privately owned Orgaman SPRL and OKIMO on 10 May, 2003. Moto Goldmines then bought into the existing agreement between the two and became a 60% owner of the property.(41)

    Moto Goldmines Limited was created when Moto Goldmines Australia Limited (formerly Equis Limited) and King Products Incorporated (formerly Wizard Lake Petroleum Corporation) merged in 2005. Moto Goldmines has set up a complicated series of 13 subsidiaries in order to control as much of Concession # 38 as possible. Border Energy Limited is a wholly owned holding company of Moto Goldmines Limited. Moto Goldmines Limited created several subsidiaries as joint ventures with Border Energy, many of which are active in Ituri District and have entered into joint ventures of their own with OKIMO. They include Rambi Mining SPRL, Blue Rose SPRL (owned by Blue Rose Investments Limited in Strathavon, South Africa), Kibali Gold SPRL, Amani Gold SPRL, Gorumbwa Mining SPRL, Tangold SPRL (owned by Greendale Universal Holdings Limited in Roadtown on Tortala Island, British Virgin Islands) , and the aformentioned Borgakim SPRL. Orgaman SPRL was previously established in the Congo to import frozen fruit and is owned by Belgian William Damseaux. Reginald Gillard is the company’s President and Jean-Claude Damseaux is the Vice President.

    The deal to include Moto Goldfields Limited in the contract has come under heavy scrutiny by the Congolese Government. Mr. Victor Kasongo Shomary, OKIMO’s (then) Managing Director, never approved the contract, but three of OKIMO’s four directors did. The contract was questionable because it had a clause that allowed OKIMO’s Directors to short-sell additional plots of land to Borgakim SPRL. Additionally, the percentage of ownership allocated to OKIMO was only 30% and any additional joint ventures with another Moto Goldmines Limited subsidiaries would likely reduce the percentage further. The contract also required Borgakim SPRL to pay for prospecting the concessions, but they have opted to rely on old studies (funded entirely by OKIMO) for data as a way to save themselves money, which is a breach of the legal agreement. The Ministry of Finance has suspended all negotiations between OKIMO, Borgakim SPRL, and Moto Goldfields Limited. In addition, the contracts of Moto Goldfields Limited’s smaller subsidiaries are under review because of late payments on the lease agreements. OKIMO gave MotoGoldfields Limited an ultimatum: they have 75 days to invest in a metallurgical plant, a power station, and then begin mining in Durba, or else the contract is null and void. Sir Jonah reassured his shareholder, stating OKIMO’s threats have “no legal value and (are) of no effect.” He also accused other mining companies of souring Moto Goldmines’ relationship with President Kabila.(42)

    On top of all this, OKIMO’s management is also under investigation for stealing gold from Concession #38. Mr. Kasongo, OKIMO’s Financial Director, and its Sales Manager all stand accused of diverting mined gold for personal profit. Mr. Kasongo was later exonerated of the charges and appointed President Joseph Kabila’s Deputy Minister of Mining. The outside pressure on Mr. Kasongo is evident as he is now proposing to privatize OKIMO via the London and Toronto stock exchanges.(43) Moto Goldmines is counting on Mr. Kasongo’s departure from OKIMO to allow the remaining directors to persuade the incoming director to cooperate with them and approve the contract.

    A number of smaller companies with leases on Concession #38 and/or #39 have not honored their contracts because they have been inactive on the mining sites. One is the private firm Aston and Sheffield Commodities-Goldagem SPRL. Aston and Sheffield is Goldagem’s parent company. Goldagem itself is based in Dubai and run by Taoufik Mathlouthi, Chairman of Mecca Cola. Two additional small firms that have not paid for their mining leases are Rambi Mining SPRL and Amani Gold SPRL.

    A large company that has failed to honor its mining contract in Ituri is Mwana Africa PLC, owned by Mwana Africa Holdings Limited based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was founded by three former Anglo-American directors in 2003. The firm began a joint venture project with OKIMO in June of 2005. Mwana Africa is also the vast majority shareholder of a joint venture with Anglo-American located south of Kolwezi, Fungerume, and Likasi in Katanga Province to mine copper and cobalt. With copper prices at records highs, Mwana is agressively seeking to expand its project, while Anglo-American has made deliberate efforts to expand their copper mining assets. They are negotiating with Gécamines to purchase another concession in Katanga Province to expand their project.

    Mwana Africa Holdings Limited was bought out by the Dublin-based (Ireland is known to be very leinient on corporate taxes) company African Gold PLC. African Gold PLC purchased Tangold SPRL in June 2004. Tangold SPRL itself owned a single portion of OKIMO Concession #38 at the time of the purchase and that contract is on the verge of being canceled. Mwana Africa Holdings also owns part of Australia-based Gravity Diamonds Limited, a joint venture with BHP Billiton, Asia Marketing Limited (registered in Israel), Intergroup Consultants Limited, and a number of private diamond firms primarily registered in Antwerp, Belgium, home of the Diamond High Council (HRD). Incidentally, Antwerp was also the main port of entry for coltan coming to Europe from the Congo during the coltan boom of the early 2000s. Gravity Diamonds is active in the Congo’s former Kasai Province, Angola, and Australia. Lastly, Mwana also owns Sibika S.A., which had a 20% stake in MIBA (the Congolese state-owned diamond mining entity) at the time of the purchase.44

    Mwana Africa Holdings also bought Bindura Nickel Corporation from AngloGold-Ashanti in 2004. Bindura was chiefly active in Zimbabwe as it was a joint venture between AngloGold-Ashanti and the government of Zimbabwe run by President Robert Mugabe. In early May 2004, Bindura’s Chief Executive Officer Leonard Chimimba was shot and killed outside his home in Harare after returning from a meeting with bank executives. He also reportedly visited the Governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank (Gideon Gono) the day before. The murder occurred after over half a million dollars (U.S.) worth of nickel disappeared from two Bindura trucks driving to South Africa in March. The incident is believed to be the work of business insiders working with criminal syndicates in South Africa.(45)

    Mwana Africa recently sought to expand its operations by bidding for the Canadian diamond exploration company SouthernEra Diamonds (through JPMorgan and OZ Management), who holds joint ventures with BHP Billiton and Nyumba Ya Akiba SPRL, as well as their own exploration projects in the Kasai-Occidental and Kasai-Oriental Provinces of the Congo. In addition, they own 20% of MIBA.(46)

    As can be expected, the company employs several well-connected individuals. Director Dr. Chris Jennings was an assistant vice president of Falconbridge Limited, a company integrated into Xstrata in August 2006. He was also the Deputy Director of Botswana’s Geological Survey. Chief Financial Officer Mr. Chris Reynolds spent several years with accounting giant (then) Price Waterhouse. President Alasdair MacPhee spent 17 years with DeBeers and Mr. Michael Kritzinger, a company lawyers, provided council for Anglo-American, DeBeers, and Gencor/Billiton.

    Notables directing African Gold PLC are Hank Slack (Director of Anglo-American [1981 to 1999], Chief Executive of Minorco [1991 to 1999], current Director of Terra Industries and Engelhard Corporation, former Director of Solomon Brothers and SAB Miller), John Teeling (Chairman of Minco, Petrel resources, Pan Andean Resources, and African Diamonds), Oliver Baring (Executive Chairman of the First Africa Group; former Anglo-American Director; current Chairman of Cluff Mining PLC; non-executive Director of Merrill Lynch World Mining Trust and the Tiedmann Trust Company, and advisor for the The Senient Resources Fund).

    Another major player is African Gold’s Chief Executive Officer Kalaa Mpinga. Mr. Mpinga is the son of a former Prime Minister and nephew of Mr. Pierre-Victor Mpoyo (One of L. Kabila’s advisors; the former Congolese Minister of Economy; former Minister of State; owner of the Central Mining Group, and business partner of Zimbabwean Billy Rautenbach, the Director of Gécamines in 1998). Kalaa received his Agricultural Development and Economics degrees at the University of California-Davis and McGill University (Canada) respectively. After graduating, he went to work for the Bechtel Corporation in San Francisco. In 1991, he left to join LTA Limited, which was owned by Anglo-American Corporation. In 1997, he was promoted to Executive Director of Anglo-American’s mining division and worked in the Congo’s Ministry of Economy under his uncle. To this day, Mr. Mpinga continues to hold strong ties with Anglo-Amcerican.(47) From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Mpinga was a Patron and Board Member of the African Business Roundtable and he was also an Executive Director of New Business Africa. In 2001, he was one a founding member of Mwana Africa Holdings.

    He currently is a Director of Group Five Limited (a huge construction firm), and GijimaAST, a technology corporation based in South Africa. In addition, he is Chairman of Bindura Nickel Corporation. Many of Mr. Mpinga’s recent projects are funded by Lansdowne Partners Ltd. and Marshall Wace LLP.(48) On a personal note, Mr. Mpinga is an open admirer of the late DeBeers/Anglo-American patriarch Harry Oppenheimer, calling him, “A great African, a man with a vision for the continent and indeed a pioneer of African renaissance.”(49)

    David Barouski is an African Affairs researcher with a focus on Central Africa. He was the co-recipient of a Project Censored award in 2006 and is a regular contibutor to Znet. His work has appeared in Z Magazine, Waheen Online, the Somaliland Times, and Congo Panorama. He is the author of the book, “Laurent Nkundabatware, his Rwandan Allies, and the ex-ANC Mutiny: Chronic Barriers to Lasting Peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” which he traveled to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to research.

    1 “Congo’s Coltan Rush,” BBC News. 1 August 2001.

    2 “Half of Congo Licenses May Not Comply,” David McKay. Mining MX. 3 April, 2007.

    3 Reno, William. “Sovereignity and Personal Rule in Zaire.” African Studies Quarterly. Volume 1, Issue 3. May 1997.

    4 “New Leaders Take Africa Into Their Own Hands,” Sam Kiley. The Times. 20 May, 1997.

    5 Madsen, Wayne. “Genocide and Operations in Africa: .” Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen Press, Limited. 1999. pg. 283, 300-301.

    6 Ibid. pg. 281; Baracyetse, Pierre, Loudiebo, Alexandre. “The Geopolitical Stakes of the International Mining Companies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ex-Zaire).” English Translation. 2000.

    7 Madsen, Wayne. “Genocide and Operations in Africa: .” Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen Press, Limited. 1999. pg. 280-283.

    8 Baracyetse, Pierre, Loudiebo, Alexandre. “The Geopolitical Stakes of the International Mining Companies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Ex-Zaire).” English Translation. 2000.

    9 “Friends in High Places,” Richard C. Morais. Forbes. 10 August, 1998.

    10 “U.S. Firms Stake Claims in Zaire’s War,” Cindy Shiner. CNN. 17 April, 1997.

    11 Madsen, Wayne. “Genocide and Operations in Africa: .” Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen Press, Limited. 1999. pg. 67, 280-283.

    12 Ibid. pg. 70.

    13 Ibid. pg. 283; “Firm From Clinton's Home Town Has Deal With Zaire Rebel Chief,” Christopher Ruddy. NewsMax. 16 May, 1997; “Congo-Zaire,” Conor de Lion. Global Finance. June 1997.

    14 “U.S. Firms Stake Claims in Zaire’s War,” Cindy Shiner. CNN. 17 April, 1997.

    15 “DeBeers Bows to Zaire Rebels,” Stefaans Brümmer, Chris McGreal. Mail & Guardian. 18 April, 1997.

    16 United States Department of the Interior. “The Mineral Industry of Zaire.” George J. Coakley. 1997.

    17 United States Department of the Interior. “The Mineral Industry of Congo (Kinshasa).” George J. Coakley. 1998.

    18 “Canadian Companies in the Congo and OECD Guidelines.” Corporate Knights. Issue CK 16. 5 June, 2006.

    19 “Gold Producer Buys Barrick Properties,” Las Vegas Review-Journal. 17 May, 1998.

    20 “The Curse of Gold: Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Human Rights Watch. 26 April, 2005. pg. 16; “OKIMO History,” ASC Goldagem SPRL. Accessed 9 February, 2007.

    21 United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights of the Committee on International Relations. “Suffering and Despair: Humanitarian Crisis in the Congo.” One Hundred Seventh Congress, Session 1. Serial No. 107–16. 17 May, 2001.

    22 “Shifting Sands: Oil Exploration in the Rift Valley and the Congo Conflict.” Dominic Johnson. Pole Institute. 13 March, 2003. pg. 9-10.

    23 Private Interview. 2006.

    24 “Don Doyle Explains ‘Blanchard vs. Barrick and J.P. Morgan’.” Jay Taylor. Jay Taylor’s Gold and Technology Stocks. Volume 22, Number 15. 3 January, 2004.

    25 “Barrick Gold Eliminates Non-Project Hedge Contracts but Retains 9.5m Project Gold Hedge,” Dorothy Kosich. Mineweb. 23 February, 2007.

    26 UK Defence Firm Lobbied Minister to Drop Corruption Probe: Report,” Agence France Pressé. 16 December, 2006.

    27 “BAE Systems,” Campaign Against Arms Trade. Accessed 12 February, 2006.

    28 “Gustavo A. Cisneros,” The Global Information Infrastructure Commission. Accessed 9 October, 2006.

    29 Madsen, Wayne. “Genocide and Operations in Africa: .” Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen Press, Limited. 1999. pg. 74.

    30 Philpot, Robin. “Rwanda 1994: Colonialism Dies Hard.” Robin Philpot, The Taylor Report (Phil Taylor). 2004.

    31 Palast, Greg. “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.” New York, New York: Plume (Penguin Group). 1st American Edition. 2003. pg. 93.

    32 “Paul Desmarais,” Wikipedia. Accessed 10 October, 2006.

    33 “Burston-Marsteller: A Corporate Profile,” Corporation Watch UK. July 2002.

    34 “Ituri: BTP’s Machines to Rehabilitate the Aru-Watsa Axis,” Radio Okapi. English Translation. 20 January, 2007.

    35 “The Western Heart of Darkness: Mineral-Rich Congo Ravaged by Genocide and Plunder,” Asad Ismi. CCPA Monitor. October 2001.

    36 “A Dream Deal for Gold Fields,” Allan Secombe. Mining MX. 25 January, 2007.

    37 “The Curse of Gold: Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Human Rights Watch. 26 April, 2005; Private Interview. 2006.

    38 “AngloGold Settles DRC ‘Key Concerns’,” Brendan Ryan. Mining MX. 7 August, 2007.

    39 “Anglo American Profits Grow 46%,” BBC News. 21 February, 2007; “Anglo $3bn Share Buyback in 2007,” Allan Seccombe. Mining MX. 21 February, 2007.; “Stability Tempts Mining Companies Back to Congo,” Rebecca Bream. Financial Times. 21 February, 2007.
    40 Madsen, Wayne. “Genocide and Operations in Africa: .” Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales, United Kingdom: Edwin Mellen Press, Limited. 1999. pg. 305.
    41 Alternative Investment Market (London). “Schedule 1 – Pre-Admission Announcement: Moto Goldfields Limited.” 17 March, 2006. Note: Must have Adobe Reader to view.
    42 “Business Borgakim-OKIMO: Exact Contours of a Contract That Wants to ‘Kill’ Kilo-Moto for Good!,” DigitalCongo3.0. English Translation. 18 January, 2007.; “OKIMO, A Very Annoyed Trade-Union Delegation!,” La Prospérité. English Translation. 19 January, 2007; “Mining Conflict OKIMO-Borgakim: Anxious Interference From Minister Balamage!,” DigitalCongo 3.0. English Translation. 30 December, 2006.; “OKIMO Says Clock is Ticking on Moto,” David McKay. MiningMX. 16 February, 2007.; “Update on the Moto Gold Project.” Moto Goldmines Limited. Press Release. 26 February, 2007; “Moto’s Jonah in Congo Parley,” David McKay. Mining MX. 29 March, 2007.
    43 “Congo Accuses Canadian Mining Firm of ‘Cheating’,” The East African. 12 March, 2007.
    44 “Year in Review 2006: Democratic Republic of the Congo July to December.” Great Lakes Center for Strategic Studies. 2006. pg. 24.
    45 “Mining Boss Shot Dead,” Daily Mirror. 12 May, 2004.
    46 “Mwana Launches Hostile Bid for SouthernEra Diamonds,” Rodrick Mukumbira. Mineweb. 19 March, 2007.
    47 “Mpinga Still in Cahoots With Anglo,” African Mining Intelligence. N°149. 7 February, 2007.
    48 “Fertile Ground: Hedge Funds Travel to Africa,” Alistair MacDonald. The Wall Street Journal. 6 October, 2006.
    49 “Tribute to Harry Oppenheimer: Pioneer of African Renaissance,” Kalaa Mpinga. Daily Dispatch. 29 August, 2000.

    Table Bay Hotel drama (Katanga mineral riches in play in Cape Town)
    (Source: Mineweb)

    Caesar's wife, in the form of Cynthia Carroll, nearly rubs shoulders with Niko Shefer, a carnivorous rum runner fresh from a Big Shark Hunt.
    Author: Barry Sergeant
    Posted: Wednesday , 06 Feb 2008

    You get seal-swallowing Great White Sharks offshore the environs of Cape Town, but this week the city opened its wind-punched arms to an annual international carnival of decadence and bad taste known as the mining Indaba. At one point, Cynthia Carroll, the CEO of Anglo American (AAL LN, £28.30 a share), once the world's leading mining company, nearly brushed shoulders with Niko Shefer, a rum runner who had just returned from a Big Shark Hunt.
    This so nearly happened in the foyer of the Table Bay Hotel, Cape Town's version of Dubai's decadent seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel. Shefer was followed by a flapping entourage of motley characters, most of them Congolese, but also including a pony-tailed paleface who looked as if he might have just hit town with some interesting business from Mexico.
    The whispers around the hotel were that Shefer had hired 10 rooms in the Table Bay Hotel for the four day duration of the Indaba, along with five big fat depraved limousines. Shefer's spokesman, at last count, one Chris Vick, was not taking calls to confirm or deny the details of Shefer's post-shark attack on the Table Bay Hotel.
    Vick is known across the planet for his impassioned appeals that the world rinses its memory of Shefer's criminal conviction on corruption charges, way back in 1989. Well, everyone's naturally forgotten that, but it's difficult to erase the memory of Shefer being declared a personal non grata in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just six months ago, after his name was connected to a tangled would-be uranium deal. Nobody, but nobody, should let Shefer near that stuff.
    Carroll, who is above suspicion and whiter than Caesar's wife, gave a speech that said nothing negative about anything in the world, scarcely recognising last month's meltdown at Eskom, one of the greatest institutional failures in African history. In another lily-white speech, this one dripping with schmooze, Victor Kasongo, DRC Vice Minister of Mines, outlined a "new" plan to "fast track" solutions to his country's review of mining contracts. The media happily doled out the story, the biggest one at this year's Indaba, to their audiences.
    Victor Kasongo is nothing more than a runner for the Holy Trio: DRC president Joseph Kabila, along with his closest adviser, Augustine Katumba Mwanke, and a notoriously litigious paleface who can be handily referred to as The Real Shark Hunt. Kasongo's job down in Cape Town was to sound like a vegetarian Great White Shark, but always looking like a Great White Shark craving fresh meat. On Wednesday morning he bored hundreds of people to tears and sleep over a breakfast that should have been depraved and decadent and highly meaningful.
    In the Real Shark Hunt, mining companies backed by billions of dollars of Western capital are being kicked around like packs of rats and other assorted small vermin.
    A few weeks back, Toronto-listed Katanga Mining (KAT CN, C$13.02) - currently merging with London-listed Nikanor - (NKR LN, £3.99) was forced by DRC parastatal Gécamines (La Générale des Carrières et des Mines) to surrender two of its valuable properties into a Chinese deal. Katanga Mining has admitted to the deal, but has politely declined to explain what it received as a quid pro quo.
    And so it goes. There is no end of decadent and bizarre deals going down in Katanga Province , which houses the majority of the DRC's copper, cobalt, zinc and uranium riches. In a July 18 2006 report to the UN's Security Council, the Group of Experts on the DRC raised serious questions over concession rights held by individuals of unknown or questionable standing. Noting that the DRC's Mining Cadastre listed 2,144 mining and quarrying concessions, the Group of Experts argued that "an undetermined number appear to be held by concessionaires affiliated with investors whose personal and professional integrity is doubtful".
    This lack of transparency, the Group of Experts argued, provided "hiding places for sanctioned individuals, financiers of embargo violators and for other individuals who simply do not meet the standards of the Code Minier". As an example of a "due diligence failure", the report referred to Camec (CFM LN , £0.45), and noted that Conrad Muller "Billy" Rautenbach, a major shareholder in Camec, was wanted by the authorities of South Africa for fraud and theft. Rautenbach has ostensibly sold Boss Mining (concessions 467 and 469) and also concessions 1590-1605 to Camec. Rautenbach was last year declared a persona non grata in the DRC. Like Shefer, he is desperately trying to have the ban lifted. Like Shefer, he is wont to try and do extraordinary things, but he is excluded from shark hunts in landlocked Zimbabwe.
    These days, Camec has joined forces with an entity known as Prairie to list the "Mukondo JV", representing what may well be the world's richest cobalt deposit, on a big stock exchange. Among the cash raised from the would-be listing, a minimum of $400m will go to Prairie, and $170m to Camec. This week, a coalition of NGOs published audit reports - signed by Ernst & Young - of four of the entities going into the Mukondo JV, Boss Mining, Kababankola Mining Company, Mukondo Mining, and La Société Minière de Kabolela et de Kipese sprl, insisting that prosecutors and stock exchange regulators in Europe and North America carefully examine the audits "to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to trigger prosecutions".
    Back on due diligence failures, the UN Group of Experts report also referred to Ruashi Mining (concessions 627, 578, and 72), noting that Shefer, "ex-convict and currently indicted by the authorities of South Africa, is the controlling shareholder of Ruashi Mining". Under cover of layers of entities, including Sentinelle Global Investments, Shefer "sold" Ruashi to Metorex (MTX SJ, R19.66), and later realized benefits to the tune of around $400m, according to individuals familiar with the situation. After events that unfolded this week, Metorex could show its class by explaining one or two things in and around Compagnie Miniere du Sud Katanga.
    There is also the would-be swindle of Kalukundi, a glorious copper-cobalt asset that belongs to Africo (ARL CN, C$1.69). As for The Real Shark Hunt, the free speculation amid the depravity and decadence of this year's Indaba carnival was that the people who know the most about that story are likely to be Glencore's Ivan Glasenberg and Lloyd Pengilly of JP Morgan Cazenove.
    Then there is Moïse Katumbi Chapwe, governor of Katanga Province, but his is one of many stories for another day.
    Selected DRC/Zambia copper miners


    First Quantum
    Katanga Mining
    Copper Resources
    Mwana Africa
    African Copper
    Zambezi Resources
    African Eagle



    BHP Billiton
    * 12-month high

    Saturday, February 9, 2008

    Israel and the Ongoing Holocaust in Congo

    Gertler’s Bling Bang Torah Gang (Also see Gertler Earns Billions as Mine Deals Fail to Enrich Congo)

    Israel and the Ongoing Holocaust in Congo (Part 1)

    by Keith Harmon Snow / February 9th, 2008

    Maurice Templesman is one of the top funders of Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Templesman was the unofficial ambassador to the Congo (Zaire) for years, but a new Israeli-American tycoon has replaced him. In the world of bling bling and bling bang, some things change, some stay the same. The CIA, the MOSSAD, the big mining companies, the offshore accounts and weapons deals—all hidden by the Western media. The holocaust in Central Africa has claimed some six to ten million people in Congo since 1996, with 1500 people dying daily.1 But while the Africans are the victims of perpetual Holocaust, the persecutors hide behind history, complaining that they are the persecuted, or pretending they are the saviors. Who is responsible?

    For Israeli-American Dan Gertler, business in blood drenched Congo is not merely business, it is a quest for the Holy Grail. Young Dan Gertler goes nowhere—does nothing—without the spiritual guidance of Brooklyn-born Rabbi Chaim Yaakov Leibovitch, a personal friend of Condoleeza Rice.2 Gertler and Leibovitch are two of the principals behind a diamond mining company, Emaxon Finance Corporation, involved in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Gertler and gang won the majority rights to the diamonds from the state mining company, Société Minière de Bakwange, MIBA, found near the government-controlled town of Mbuji-Mayi, the rough diamond capital of the world.

    Emaxon Finance Corp. has apparently out-maneuvered diamond competitors, especially the big rivals Energem and De Beers. Energem is one of the many shady mining companies connected to Anthony Teixeira, a Portuguese born businessman now residing in South Africa whose daughter married Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba. The warlord’s deadly battle in Congo in March 2007 was a bid between rival agents—Jean-Pierre Bemba and Joseph Kabila—to be the black gatekeeper for the mining cartels run by dynastic families like Templesman, Oppenheimer, Mendell, Forrest, Blattner, Hertzov, Gertler and Steinmetz, and for companies like NIKANOR, whose stock prices rose early in July 2006 in expectation of a July 30th “win” for Joseph Kabila.3 Africa Confidential called President Kabila’s 2003 visit to the Bush White House a “coup” for the Israeli diamond magnates Dan Gertler and Beny Steinmetz.

    Canadian-based Energem, formerly DiamondWorks, is owned by British mercenary Tony Buckingham and its director/shareholders include Mario and Tony Teixeira, J.P. Morgan, and Gertler’s partner Israeli-American Beny Steinmetz (50%).4 Through subsidiary Branch Energy, the Energem-DiamondWorks gang has perpetuated war in 11 African countries.5 In December 2007, Energem re-launched itself on the London Stock Market with the newly laundered image of a renewable energy company. Regarding diamonds, it said only it “had decided to give up exploration rights in the Central African Republic.”6 The Energem spokesman explained that Tony Teixeira “had a clean bill of health” etc., etc. Of course, Energem “quit” the C.A.R. because Jean-Pierre Bemba marched his troops into C.A.R., where they raped and pillaged widely.7 Energem is still operating in Congo, but Dan Gertler is the new, unofficial ambassador to the Congo for the George W. Bush gang.

    Gertler and partners like Beny and Danny Steinmetz, Nir Livnat, Chaim Leibovitz and Yaakov Neeman run a hornet’s nest of companies involved in African hotspots, including: Dan Gertler International (DGI), Steinmetz Global Resources, International Diamond Industries, NIKANOR and Global Enterprises Corporate.

    “Dan Gertler is ‘the new kid on the block,’” writes Yossi Melman in Israel’s Haaretz news. “Bold, sophisticated, brutal, he is an adventurer with a short fuse.” Haaratz confirmed that Dan Gertler owns a complex network of interconnected companies, often registered in offshore tax havens and involved in India, Russia, Belgium and the United States, and that Dan Gertler is looking to God for guidance.8


    “In the diamond industry,” Melman wrote, “Gertler is considered something of an odd bird. He maintains few ties with the other merchants and is not very sociable… Alongside his business affairs, most of his energy is channeled into matters of faith. He is a donor to religious institutions and from time to time makes a pilgrimage to the rabbi he most admires, Rabbi David Abuhatzeira, from Nahariya, in order to consult with him and receive his blessing. Gertler is surrounded mostly by religious people and laces his speech liberally with praise to God.”8

    In 2003, Condoleeza Rice, then Assistant to President Bush for National Security Affairs, introduced Dan Gertler and Chaim Leibovitch to U.S. official Jendayi Frazer, a Harvard Kennedy School affiliate and former National Security Council agent focused on Africa. On December 6, 2006, Frazer, then Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, was one of seven special Bush delegates sent to the inauguration of Congo’s newly installed President Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa.9

    When Dan Gertler and Chaim Leibovitch and their friends visit the luxury Gertler villa in Lumumbashi, the capital of Katanga, Congo’s large southern province, their kosher meals arrive by private plane from Kinshasa. The special executive jet that flies their kosher meals a few hundred miles over the roadless Congo costs some $US 23,000 per trip.10

    The average income for Congolese citizens each year—if they survive it—is about $95. Shootings at mining facilities and diamond mines are common, land is stolen from Congolese people, strikes are crushed by security forces that companies are partnered with, and black overseers of state terror routinely arrest and torture any vocal opposition—and sometimes disappear them—in support of white bosses. The Société Minière de Bakwange—MIBA— and the diamond fields of Mbuji-Mayi in Congo have a long history of bloodshed backed by Western powers, including Israel, from the beginning.11 Amnesty International points out that not a single state agent has ever been prosecuted for the extrajudicial executions of suspected “illegal” miners in Mbuji-Mayi.12

    After a century of exploitation and slavery, we find MIBA consistently withholding payment of salaries to starving Congolese laborers and middle managers for months at a time. April and May 2007 saw strikes and protests leading to the Kabila government’s arbitrary arrest, detention and torture of trade union organizers like Leon Ngoy Bululu; police have also shot protestors.13 So-called ‘illegal’ diamond workers—disenfranchised local Congolese people forced into “criminal” activities to survive—were summarily executed on MIBA concessions in Mbuji-Mayi. MIBA security guards have also been sniping unemployed diamond miners.14

    Meanwhile, Dan Gertler’s kosher meals depart Kinshasa, the capital of the big Congo, through the arrangements of Rabbi Chlomo Bentolila, high priest of the Chabad of Central Africa. Rabbi Chlomo Bentolila has been a Kinshasa Rabbi since 1991, and he was a spiritual force who survived the terrorism of the old dinosaur, Mobutu Sese Seko, the way most elites did: by working with him. Rabbi Bentolila is a member of the Chabad Lubavitch Global Emissary Network, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, and his wife Miriam is the sister of Rabbi Mena’hem Hadad, a high priest in Brussels.15

    “Kosher does not mean that a Rabbi blesses the food,” Rabbi Betolila corrected me, “but rather that the food was supervised by a Rabbinical Thora [sic] authority who sees that the ingredients were in accordance with the laws of Kashrut expressed in the Bible (Leviticus and Deuteronomy).”16

    Dan Gertler often flies people into Congo, on his private jet, for sacred Jewish rituals. For the Bar Mitsvah of Rabbi Chlomo Bentolila’s son Binyamin Avrahim in June 2005, guests included eminent Rabbis, Hassidic singer Yoni Shlomo and special orchestra Yossef Brami, all arriving in “special flights” from Israel, New York and Brussels. The reception was held at the luxurious and exclusive Memling Hotel. Joseph Kabila sent a sizeable delegation but did not attend: his closest advisers provided a blessing on his behalf.17

    The Gertler, Steinmetz and Templesman interests are advanced in part through the support of the Committee of the Jewish Community of Kinshasa—le Comité de la Communauté Israélite—that is tightly coordinated with the power structure in Kinshasa to exert influence and assure control of Israeli-Belgian-Anglo-American interests over the geopolitical arena.

    From June 26-30, 2007, the Communaute Israelite de Kinshasa received a visit from the Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Revah, director of the Africa Department of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Revah also flew to Lumumbashi for meetings with Dan Gertler and his agents, including Moishe (Moses) Katumbi, the Governor of Katanga, and they most likely enjoyed a lovely, $23,000 kosher meal sent from the Chabad in Kinshasa.18 The Communaute Israelite de Kinshasa maintains very intimate political relations with President Joseph Kabila’s PPRD party, the People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy. On March 1, 2006, in a formal ceremony, the President of the Communaute Israelite de Kinshasa, Ashlan Piha, was awarded the Congo’s Medal of Civil Merit.


    Before his assassination on January 16, 2001, Laurent Desire Kabila—the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)—made a deal with the Gertler gang that would play out in favor of the current President Joseph Kabila and, it seems, be a central factor in relation to both Congo’s ongoing war and the bloody warlord’s battle in Kinshasa in March 2007.19

    Back in 2000, former Congolese president Laurent Kabila offered a monopoly on Congolese diamonds, and 88% of the proceeds, to Gertler’s International Diamond Industries (IDI) in exchange for Israeli military assistance to his new government.20 Top Congolese military officials apparently flew to Israel in 2000 to negotiate the deal. Gertler pledged military assistance to President Laurent Kabila through top Israeli officials.21

    The original Gertler-Kabila deal fell through after Laurent Kabila was assassinated for not cooperating with the Great White Fathers of industry (January 2001), but Gertler and Leibovitch and their disciples formed another company, Dan Gertler International, and advanced their Congo plan.22 By 2002 Gertler’s company was the leading exporter of Congolese gems, controlling a diamond mining franchise worth about $US 1 billion annually.23

    In 2003, the mighty Congolese diamond parastatal Societe Miniere De Bakwanga (MIBA)—which has been forever controlled by the Great White Fathers in Belgium, Israel and America—signed an exclusive contract with Gertler’s startup company, Emaxon Finance International. The deal involved Israeli’s Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization (SIBAT), and high-level Israeli defense and intelligence officials. Gertler and his buddies reportedly bribed Congolese officials and Angolan generals who, on and off, have commanded Angolan Army troops protecting Kinshasa, Congo’s capital.21,24

    Security for mining operations in Congo is provided by exclusive security companies like Overseas Security Services (OSS) one of the many DRC interests of Belgian billionaire tycoon Philippe de Moerloose. A member of the Kinshasa elite, de Moerloose supplies jets and other presidential toys to DRC President Kabila. In 2006, President Joseph Kabila’s campaign helicopter was at the centre of a legal battle involving Philippe de Moerloose.25 De Moerloose’s companies operated in Mobutu’s Zaire from at least 1991, backing state terrorism and Western corporate plunder that was rendered invisible by the Western media. De Moerloose is also an adviser to European Union (EU) Commissioner—and diamantaire—Louis Michel.

    Dan Gertler and Philippe de Moerloose were, reportedly, the only two white men who attended the wedding of Joseph Kabila and the two clearly share interests in “security” provided by OSS at MIBA and elsewhere in Congo. The April 2003 secret agreement signed between the Gertler/Steinmetz company Emaxon Finance and the Kabila government involved MIBA and two de Moerloose companies, OSS-Congo and Demimpex, and other firms.

    Overseas Security Services (OSS) operations are apparently grounded in the experience of top expatriate security operatives formerly involved with the biggest security firm in Mobutu’s Zaire.26 According to OSS public relations materials, “these persons have a not unimportant experience in the safety of this country.”26 Providing mine security, body-guard and protection services, OSS operates in Burundi, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Dubai, South Africa, Republic of Congo (Brazzavile) and Belgium, placing them in cahoots with all sides warring and plundering eastern Congo today.27

    Emaxon Finance International is a real gem, one of these octopuses of mining tangled up with interlocking companies and subsidiaries based in specious geographical offshore “tax havens” that work to shield from prosecution people who are responsible for money laundering, weapons and drugs operations, assassinations and other terrorism.

    NIKANOR is registered as an Isle of Man (UK) company, an offshore tax haven that helps to conceal criminal activities and maximize profits. NIKANOR directors include Dan Kurtzer, former U.S. ambassador to Israel (2001-2005) and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research under Madeleine Albright. NIKANOR partners include Mende and Moshe Gertner [sic], Israeli property tycoons with vast holdings in London who control 22 percent of NIKANOR. Another partner is Israeli-born Nir Livnat, managing director of Johannesburg-based Ascot Diamonds, a member of the Steinmetz Group of Diamond Companies, and a principal involved in numerous U.S.-based businesses from Miami to New York.28


    Back in 2001, when the Gertler enterprises surfaced in dirty diamond deals, public relations was handled by Lior Chorev, the “Special Strategic and Communications Consultant” to International Diamond Industries (IDI), and Chorev continued in this role to support Dan Gertler businesses.29 Today, Lior Chorev is partnered with the brothers Yuval and Eyal Arad as director-owners of the Israeli marketing and public relations firm, ARAD Communications.30

    “We do work for Mr. Gertler on some of his business issues,” said Lior Chorev.31 ARAD’s many clients include Dan Gertler companies, Los Angeles-based Coral Diamonds and an Israeli aeronautics weaponry manufacturer producing Unmanned Aerospace Vehicles (UAVs)—robotic weapons and intelligence platforms like those being used against the people of Congo today.32 As a political strategist, Lior Chorev has worked for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and current Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.33 He has also participated in Israel-NATO defense planning conferences.34

    Dan Gertler is close to Israeli politicians, especially Avigdor Lieberman, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, and he is very close to diamantaire Beny Steinmetz, a good friend of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Gertler’s inseperable friend, Chaim Leibovitz, is also very close to Lieberman, and was “a regular fixture” in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offices.35

    Beny Steinmetz is considered to be one of the richest billionaires in Israel. The Steinmetz Group, controlled with his brother Daniel, is one of the biggest clients of the de Beers diamond syndicate. Steinmetz is also involved in an Israeli real estate group that purchased the assets of the British Haslemere real estate company for $1.46 billion. Steinmetz’s real estate partners include the billionaire Israeli investors David and Simon Reuben, and the Saudi Arabian Olayan Group, an investment company that is deeply connected with Bechtel Corporation.36 The Steinmetz web site map of operations hides their involvement in war-torn Congo.37

    Seems Dan Gertler’s land grabs and exclusion in Congo have a lot in common with the current crimes against humanity being committed by Israel through its illegal partition in the Middle East. On January 3, 2008, the Jerusalem Post reported that Lior Chorev was an integral part of past Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s advisers, and he was recently quoted to say that even though Sharon did not get to finalize Israel’s final borders (he suffered a debilitating stroke in 2006), the route of the security fence—which he decided—would ultimately serve as the basis for the border and as Sharon’s lasting legacy.38

    “He felt he needed to set the border because he didn’t trust the younger generations,” Chorev was quoted to say. “He knew the fence route by heart and the reason for every stretch of land being on one side or the other.”38

    In 2003, the U.N. Panel of Experts on war in Congo revealed that Emaxon Finance International is controlled by Israeli diamond traders Chaim Leibovitz and Dan Gertler.39 Emaxon lists as its address an office in Montreal, Canada, but Emaxon’s majority shareholder is listed as FTS Worldwide, a nebulous global corporation whose business address is that of a firm of lawyers, Mossack Fonseca & Company, in Panama City. FTS Worldwide is registered with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission to lawyer Andre Zolty of Geneva Switzerland. A copy of the MIBA-Emaxon contract was signed on 13 April 2003 by Israeli-Americans Yaakov Neeman and Chaim Leibovitz.40

    Yaakov Neeman is a founding partner of Herzog, Fox and Neeman, Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s top law firms, and he has held Israeli government cabinet and ministerial positions.41 Neeman is on the Advisory Board of Markstone Capital Group, a very influential group of investment bankers, with Eli Hurvitz. On the board of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries with Eli Hurvitz is Northrup-Grumman director Philip Frost.42 Both Philip Frost and Maurice Templesman are top-level councilors for the American Stock Exchange. Eli Hurvitz sat on the International Advisory Counsel of Harvard University’s Belfer Center, 2002-2005, during the period when the Belfer Center and their intelligence operative Robert Rotberg formalized the “Kimberley Process” to officially whitewash blood diamonds.43 Yakov Neeman is also a governor of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency for Israel.

    One of the main objectives of the Kimberley Process, and the Harvard Belfer Center’s role, was to protect the South African Oppenheimer and De Beers diamond cartels and their leading buyers and agents like Maurice Templesman and Beny Steinmetz.44 Added to those diamond industry firms whitewashed by the Kimberley Process are all the Zionist diamond dealers and cartels that have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of the Holocaust.

    The Israeli-American enterprises of the Gertler/Steinmetz gang have proliferated and today are major shareholders or owners of diamond concessions in Congo’s Kasai province and copperbelt concessions in Katanga. The copperbelt is the big money in Congo. Copper prices recently hit an all time high due to monopoly control by corporations and new applications in transportation, aerospace and weaponry. Cobalt is used in dye and paint processes for manufacturing. More importantly, it is elemental to superalloys used for tank armor, spacecraft, turbines, ship hulls, ship hulls, blast furnaces, refineries, petroleum drilling rigs, nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. Like coltan, or columbium-tantalite, cobalt is also used in cell phone batteries. The Katanga copperbelt is also rich in germanium, a rare metal used in optical fibers, infrared lenses and telecommunication satellites.45

    The entire military-industrial-prisons complex revolves around minerals like cobalt, niobium and heterogenite (cobalt oxide), yet the truth about what happens to African people in lands taken over by these mining companies is hidden by the corporate media. More and more land is being stolen, more and more atrocities committed, with less and less transparency, and less and less accountability, and fewer and fewer voices for the voiceless. And, as usual, there are always a lot of empty promises.


    Over the past fifty years, elite Israeli nationals have perpetrated conflict and injustice in Africa, fueled by and for minerals. Operatives associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services—the Mossad—maintain strategic criminal syndicates in competition and in partnership with other syndicates involving men like Philippe De Moerloose, Louis Michel, Viscount Etienne Davignon, John Bredenkamp and Tony Buckingham.

    Israeli trained shock troops became Mobutu’s bodyguards, with Mossad advisers. According to a report by the American Jewish Committee: after 1980 “Mossad agents, military emissaries, and a small group of private businessmen… replaced diplomats as Israel’s main interlocutors with African leaders and political (mainly opposition) groups.” The report cites rising involvement of private defense and security interests, especially in Angola, DRC and Central Africa Republic, since 1992.46

    Israeli operatives and “businessmen” appear everywhere there is egregious suffering and dispossession. Dan Gertler’s forays into the bloody world of diamonds involve Israeli arms dealers Yair Klein, who is reportedly wanted by the U.S. for training Medellin drug-cartel militias in Colombia, and Dov Katz.47 Klein was convicted by Israel (1991) for his involvement with groups that targeted and assassinated Colombian politicians, journalists, and police. Jailed in Sierra Leone in 1999, Klein was a field representative for Gertler in war-torn Sierra Leone and Liberia. Gertler also mingles with the Russian Military Brotherhood, a group of “retired Russian generals whom Gertler describes as good friends.”48,49

    Retired Israeli Defense Forces Colonel Yair Klein reportedly organized arms for diamonds networks in Sierra Leone and Liberia after President Charles Taylor was deposed. In 1999, Klein was arrested in Sierra Leone on charges of smuggling arms to the rebel Revolutionary United Front.50 The U.N. also documented collaborations between Sierra Leone’ rebels and Lazare Kaplan agent Damian Gagnon; Lazare Kaplan International is one of the organized crime syndicates of Jewish American Maurice Templesman.51

    The Steinmetz Group of companies are also involved in the bloody diamond fields of Sierra Leone, along with Energem (formerly DiamondWorks), the company described above that is connected to the white mercenaries depicted in Hollywood’s Blood Diamond propaganda film.52 In December 2007, local people in Sierra Leone struggling to gain the smallest livelihood from their own resources were shot by police during peaceful protests against the Steinmetz-controlled Koidu Holdings site. It’s the same old local people’s story happening everywhere. These were people from communities driven off their own land by mining companies that promised the world, cajoled the trusting people, and gave nothing after. The Steinmetz gang called in the local paramilitary, a curfew was imposed and people were shot; the police, as usual, falsely claimed that protesters were armed.53

    Like most mining mafias in Africa, the Israeli octopus—organized crime syndicates, offshore subsidiaries, interlocking directorships and affiliated mercenaries—has gripped the very heart of Congo like an octopus grips and stuns its prey. Mining regulates the pulse of Congo, and foreign mining companies with their black sell-out agents are sucking the blood out of the people and the wealth out of the land.


    Beyond the intriguing Jewish rivalry for diamonds in the heart of darkness, this tale takes a chilling turn with the involvement of certain German firms and New York City lawyers. NIKANOR, another Gertler/Steinmetz company of dubious origins operating in DRC, has a subcontract with the notorious ThyssenKrupp conglomerate, a company comprised of two former Nazi weapons manufacturers linked to the New York law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, to Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., Lehman Brothers, Chase Manhattan Bank, J.P. Morgan, DuPont and IBM, in the great Nazi-American money plot.54

    These companies were all behind the Jewish Holocaust. The infamous German Krupp firm is the industrial corporation that collaborated with former CIA director Allen Dulles and former U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Clients of the Dulles brothers’ law firm Sullivan and Cromwell included Adolph Hitler.54 Ted Terry, one of the senior counselors of the law firm Sullivan and Cromwell today, is also a director of a philanthropy called the Harold K. Hochschild (HKH) Foundation, named for the mining magnate behind AMAX, a company operating in the copperbelt in Zambia, but whose parent company, Phelps Dodge, operates in Katanga, Congo. Harold K. Hochschild was close to the CIA, and he appears to have backed the Katanga succession in the 1960’s just as Dan Gertler in recent years backed the reorganization of power in Congo by force. Sullivan and Cromwell was also the law firm for AMAX. 55,56

    Brown Brothers Harriman & Company (BBH) was the primary Wall Street connection for German companies and the U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, an early financial backer of the Nazi party. BBH bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, steel, fuel, coal, and U.S. treasury bonds to Germany. These were used to build Hitler’s war machine, and the ties proliferated even after the Nazi concentration camps began churning out skeletons. The horrors of the concentration camps at Auschwitz, Birkenau and Buckenwald became public knowledge long before they became public outrage. It is the same story for Congo.


    There are no records or statistics of the numbers of people brutalized or killed in the diamond or cobalt mining areas, like Kolwezi, Mbuji Mayi, Tshikapa, Banalia, or Kananga in DRC, or Ndola in Zambia, and many of the victims of security abuses will never be known.

    When Gertler and Steinmetz and their buddies came to Congo it was soon clear that they had to challenge Zimbabwean tycoons John Bredenkamp and Billy Rautenbach—two cronies of dictator Robert Mugabe involved in pillaging Congo and Zimbabwe for decades. The United Nations Panel of Experts on DRC named both men for plundering copper and cobalt from Katanga, and both deal globally in weapons. Bredenkamp is one of the fifty richest men in England and he reportedly owns a mansion several doors down from Margaret Thatcher’s residence in London.

    On November 7, 2007 it was reported that Dan Gertler was instrumental in putting together a deal in which Katanga Mining Ltd. would buy rival NIKANOR for $2.1 billion and merge their adjacent mine projects in Congo to form the world’s largest cobalt company. Also announced was a joint venture between the Central African Mining & Exploration Company (CAMEC) and another Gertler-controlled firm called Prairie International Limited.

    The CAMEC/Prairie joint venture will exploit DRC’s Luita copper processing facility, develop the Mukondo Mountain cobalt mine—called the world’s richest cobalt mine—and work on “other” exploration properties. Prairie is majority owned by the family of Dan Gertler. CAMEC is connected to Zimbabwean/South African/British tycoon Billy Rautenbach.57 The DRC government effectively banned controversial Zimbabwean businessman Billy Rautenbach from the country by declaring him persona non grata in July 2007, but this doesn’t seem to stop him from getting what he wants. Rautenbach is also wanted in South Africa on 300 charges of fraud, corruption and theft.

    Rautenbach is a former motor car rally driver who controls a business empire in Southern and Central Africa through a British Virgin Islands company called Ridgepoint Overseas Development Limited. In 1998, the short-lived President of Congo, Laurent Kabila, named Rautenbach the managing director of La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines), one of Africa’s biggest cobalt mines, the Katanga properties of the Union Miniere de Haut Katanga formerly developed by the Belgian colonial government. Rautenbach today is one of the Africa’s largest exporters of heterogenite (cobalt ore) from the DRC through his Congo Cobalt Company (CoCoCo), but he also has shares in two other lucrative DRC mining firms—Boss and Mukondo—which reportedly earn over US$100 million a month.58

    While there has been a lot of Western media fanfare over the Kabila governments’ supposed “independent” review of mining contracts, little substantive change can be expected.59 Structural factors exploit the Congolese people and lands and benefit white businessmen, arms dealers, bankers, and their embraceable black agents. Big business benefits from perception management articles well-placed in media to give the impression that the international system is just, that there are watchdogs, checks and balances.

    However, while the DRC and the World Bank present a propaganda front about their ostensible attention to mining reform and the new mining code, NIKANOR—Mining Journal reports—“is in the advantageous position of having entered into a post mining-code contract, ‘which makes us [NIKANOR] relatively comfortable’”60 In other words, the mining review is a sham, it may force some changes, but it will be cosmetic at best.

    Dan Gertler and the Steinmetz Group’s partner Jewish-American Nir Livnat is also a director of Anglovaal Mining with Rick and Brian Menell and Basil Hersov of the South African Menell and Hersov dynasties.61 Hersov has been named as a beneficiary of fraud and racketeering involving British BAE Systems weapons deals with shady offshore companies.62

    The octopus of South African connections is a story in itself, with links to top officials from Britain to Canada, like Canadian Senator J. Trevor Eyton, and offshore mining companies involved in all the big money (diamonds, gold, petroleum, cobalt) and big corporations with interlocking directorships: Coca Cola, Nestlé, General Motors, and the Bush-connected Barrick Gold Corporation. Barrick, of course, is partnered up with the Oppenheimer/De Beers firm Anglo-American Corporation at six sites in Africa, including Congo.

    Rick Menell is a director of Bateman Engineering—owned by Benny Steinmetz—the junior partner of the NIKANOR projects in Katanga. Britain’s Earl of Balfour is a director of both Bateman and NIKANOR. Menell is also the director of Teal Exploration and Mining, whose directors include Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique; Murray Hitzman, a Clinton administration official with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (1994-1996); Hannes Meyer, who worked with Anglo-Gold Ashanti in Congo, 1999-2006, when militias in Ituri were funded to get the gold out. Teal Exploration also has ties to Anvil Mining and Anglo-American Corporation.63

    Brian Menell, Nir Livnat’s associate on the board of Anglovaal, is on the board of Energem (formerly DiamondWorks) with Tony and Mario Teixeira. The Livnat connection ties Teixeira into networks that have supported both Joseph Kabila and Jean-Pierre Bemba in Congo’s bloody wars. Energem is also involved in the trans-Uganda-Kenya pipeline, along with Nexant, a subsidiary of the deep intelligence and defense insider Bechtel Corporation.64

    Brian Menell is also on the board of First Africa Oil, which operates in seven African countries, and First Africa Oil director John Bentley is a director of Osprey Oil and Gas, whose directors include Carol Bell, a director of the Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank. Bentley is also on the board of Adastra Minerals—formerly America Mineral Fields (AMF, AMFI, AMX), a company based in 1995 in Hope, Arkansas—and set up by Robert Friedland and Max and Jean-Raymond Boulle, notable “friends of Bill” Clinton. Since 1995, American Mineral Fields has been involved in Brazil, Russia, Norway, Zambia, Angola and the DRC. A criminal backer of the war in DRC, Jean-Raymond Boulle, who holds 36.4 % of the company stock, was the former General Director of De Beers in Zaire, part of the Templesman alliance of terrorism under the Mobutu regime.65,66

    The Gertler/Steinmetz interests apparently curry huge favors with Congo’s number two most powerful man, Augustine Katumba Mwanke, one of Joseph Kabila’s closest allies and financiers, former Governor of Katanga (1998-2001) and director of Australia’s Anvil Mining. The UN Panel of Experts (2002) cited Mwanke for illegal arms deals and plunder of Congo: Mwanke negotiated arms purchases through Belgian banks and the DRC mining company MIBA.67 Reportedly, Mwanke personally clears $US 1,000,000 a day through his interests in Katanga mining deals.68

    Anvil Mining has been involved in massacres in DRC.69 Anvil directors include former U.S. Ambassador Kenneth L. Brown, who served at U.S. embassies in Brussels, Kinshasa, Congo-Brazzaville and South Africa. Brown was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Africa (1987-1989) under George Schultz and George H.W. Bush and Director of Central African Affairs (1980-1981). The former top internal intelligence and security chief of the United Nations Observer’s Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) has been worked for Anvil mining in Katanga since 2006.70


    Gertler/Steinmetz interests have also been jostling for copper and cobalt concessions with Kinross-Forrest Group. Gertler has bought up or invested heavily in companies just to close them down. George Forrest also made the UN hit list of Congo’s looters and Forrest and his three sons helped bankroll Joseph Kabila’s 2006 election “victory”.71 George Forrest’s daughter is reportedly married to the son of Louis Michel. Malta and George Forrest are controlling directors in Katanga Mining Limited.

    Born as Entreprise Générale Malta Forrest, the Belgian Forrest interests have been pillars of exploitation in Congo since at least 1922, when they launched mining operations in Katanga. Forrest’s Katanga Mining directors include: three Canadians; Congo’s Jean-Claude Masangu Mulongo, a former Governor of DRC and high official at the IMF and World Bank; and the current Governor of the Central Bank of DRC. The Forrest dynasty has munitions factories in Belgium and Kenya, and has partnered with OM-Group, in Ohio [USA], dealing in Congo’s cobalt and coltan. Forrest International also operates in Europe, Burundi—involving him on both sides of Congo’s bloody war—and the Middle East.72 Forrest interests in DRC include aviation, foods, plantations, construction, logging, copper and cobalt mining. Forrest companies are enmeshed in the coltan plunder in eastern Congo.

    Katanga is the world’s richest mining metropolis, part of the vast copper belt that stretches across northern Zambia and southern Congo—and the home to unprecedented human misery due to state orchestrated repression and communities overrun with toxic mining, tuberculosis, cancers, immune disorders, racial discrimination and slavery. The Zambian copperbelt concessions over the border involve many of the same companies and interests mentioned above, and others.73

    Workers and communities in and around these mines suffer all the standard treatable maladies (typhoid, malaria, tetanus, polio, malnutrition) as well. However, such stories are off the agenda for the North American, European, Japanese, Australian and Israeli media corporations providing the mainstay of English language indoctrination meant to instill racial superiority and a vast ignorance and obliviousness that leaves westerns populations shaking their heads and wringing their hands and clicking their tongues, while all the while wondering “what is to be done?” It does not cross people’s minds that their own hands are dirty, that their own consciousness has been falsified, as all the raw materials from Congo enrich the lives of people in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel.

    The immediate capital investment required for just one Gertler project in Katanga—the Komoto Oliveira Virgule (KOV) project—is reportedly $US 1.8 billion dollars, income to kick start billions of dollars of unused equipment mothballed in the middle Mobutu era. There are rumors that Bechtel is involved, but the KOV project involves ThyssenKrupp AG as a minor player.74

    The Krupp firm is one of several German firms involved in the plunder in eastern Congo, exploitation which involves the DeutscheGesellschaft für technische Zusammenarbeit—GTZ—a “German technological cooperation agency” whose Supervisory Board has representatives of four Federal [German] Ministries.75 Krupp industries use coltan and cobalt for superalloys.76 Dr.-Ing. Ekkehard D. Schultz, a ThyssenKrupp director, is also a director of Bayer AG, the Germany firm whose subsidiary H.C. Starck was named for its involvement in the ongoing illegal plunder of coltan and cassiterite (tin) in eastern Congo. NIKANOR director Jay Pomrenze is also a consultant for the Deutsche Bank.77 Certain German and U.S. firms benefit from the military occupation of Rwandan-backed warlord Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu, DRC, where Nkunda controls the Lueshe niobium mine “owned” by Gesellschaft fuer Elektrometallurgie GmbH, a subsidiary of New York-based Mettalurg Group.78,79


    Dan Gertler’s grandfather, Moshe Schnitzer (d. November 2007), was known in Israel as “Mr. Diamond;” in youth he joined the pre-state underground organization Etzel (Irgoun), an Israeli military cell self-defined as an “untra-nationationalist Jewish militia,” but one that committed acts of terrorism in service to the Israeli cause.8 Moshe Schnitzer assumed a major role in the Africa-Israeli diamond trade in the 1950’s in a partnership business called Schnitzer-Greenstein. Schnitzer later founded the Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv in 1960, which today brings Israel $14 billion annually in blood business, and is the country’s second-largest industry, but Israel’s top export. King Leopold III of Belgium decorated Schnitzer in recognition of his activities favoring the close relationship of Belgium, Israel and the DeBeers diamond cartels, and Schnitzer was also President of the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in Israel.80

    The diamond jewelry trade in the United States is more than $30 billion annually, and 99%—everything that is not synthetic or artificial diamonds—involves blood diamonds and the above organized crime syndicates. Israel buys more than 50% of the world’s rough diamonds, and the U.S. buys two-thirds of these. The diamond factories are located in Nethanya, Petach Tikvah, Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Jerusalem, and other cities around the country, but most of the offices were in Tel Aviv in the financial district on Ahad Ha’am Street.81 Dan Gertler’s father, Asher Gertler, and his uncle, Shmuel Schnitzer, manage the original family business, and Shmuel is Vice-Chairman of the Belgian-based World Diamond Council—the entity that spends more money promoting the false image of “conflict-free” diamonds than it does helping any of the people dispossessed or brutalized by the diamond industry.48

    On August 16, 2007, Rabbi Bentolila in Kinshasa received a communication asking: “What does the Torah say about men exploiting other men for vast profits while other men are starving and dying all around them? Is there some hierarchy to the Torah that suggests, for example, that black people or Africans are lesser beings, and therefore not to be a concern where profound profits are being made?”

    There was no reply from Rabbi Bentolila, he was apparently busy readying for another Bar Mitsvah in Belgium. Unfortunately for Dan Gertler and his spiritual advisers, the Torah says that a Jew can keep a slave, but a Jew kept as a slave must be redeemed, and that—an empty, foolish justification for exploiting innocent people—is how religion falsifies spirituality.
    1. In January 2008 the International Rescue Committee, who is also discussed in this article, released its second survey of mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo, estimating that 5,400,000 people have died, or some 1500 people every day. Mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: an Ongoing Crisis, International Rescue Committee, January 2008. However, IRC statistics are highly biased and politicized. See: keith harmon snow, “Over Five Million Dead in Congo?Dissident Voice, February 4, 2008. #
    2. Personal interview, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 2006. #
    3. keith harmon snow, “Warlord’s Deadly Battle, Toward Freedom, 2007. #
    4. Officers: Antonio Teixeira, President & CEO; Robert G. Rainey, CFO; Brett Thompson, COO, Mining; Dimitri (Jimmy) Kanakakis, Vice President, Corporate & Legal Affairs; Bernard Poznanski, Corporate Secretary; Board Members: Brian Menell, Richard Dorfman, Bruce Holmes, Robert Rainey, Antonio Teixeira. #
    5. See: “Africa/Diamonds: Rough diamonds,” Africa Confidential, 5 March 2004, Vol. 45, No. 5; and “Equatorial Guinea: All Theft is Property,” Africa Confidential, 17 Nov. 2006, Vol. 47, No. 23: p. 12. #
    6. Tim Hoare, the head of the advisers that launched it, Canaccord Adams, sits alongside rock star and champion of Africa Bob Geldof on the board of the television-production company Ten Alps. See: Ben Laurance, “Energy firm link to blood diamonds,” The Sunday Times, December 30, 2007. #
    7. See: keith harmon snow, “A People’s History of Congo’s Jean-Pierre Bemba,” Toward Freedom, September 18, 2007. #
    8. Yossi Melman and Asaf Carmel, “Diamond in the rough,” Haaretz, March 24, 2005. # # #
    9. See: keith harmon snow, “Congo’s President Joseph Kabila: Dynasty or Travesty?Toward Freedom, November 13, 2007. #
    10. Private interview, Kinshasa, August 2006. #
    11. See: “Terror in the Diamond Fields: Excessive Force and Impunity in the DRC,” Amnesty International Canada; Democratic Republic of Congo: Government should investigate human rights violations in the Mbuji Mayi diamond fields, Amnesty International, October 22, 2002. #
    12. Making a Killing: The Diamond Trade in Government Controlled DRC, Amnesty International, 2002, AFR 62/017/2002 22/10/2002. #
    13. See: “ICEM protests Congo’s Transport, Diamond Injustices,” International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Worker’s Union, May 7, 2007. #
    14. Diamond miners killed in DR Congo,” BBC News, 7 August 2006. #
    15. See: Jewish Africa and Chabad. #
    16. Private communication, Rabbi Chlomo Bentolila, August 16, 2007. #
    17. Lag Baomer in Kinshasa,” June 2005. #
    18. Visite de l’Ambassadeur Revah a’ Kinshasa,” Kadima 010, June-September 2007. #
    19. See: keith harmon snow, “Behind the Scenes: Warlord’s Deadly Battle in Congo,” Toward Freedom, August 9, 2007. #
    20. Nicole Gaouette, “Inside Israel’s diamond trade: a family affair,” Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002. #
    21. Yitzhak Danon, “Top Israelis accused of illegal diamond deals: Israel: Lawsuit claims corruption in Congo diamonds for arms deal,” Globes (Israel), 18 February 2004. See also: “Column One: What Lieberman Wants,” Jerusalem Post, October 20, 2006. # #
    22. Christian Dietrich, “Blood Diamonds: Effective African-Based Monopolies,” African Security Review, Vol. 10, No 3., 2001. #
    23. Yitzhak Danon, “Top Israelis accused of illegal diamond deals: Israel: Lawsuit claims corruption in Congo diamonds for arms deal,” Globes (Israel), 18 February 2004. #
    24. See: keith harmon snow, “Behind the Scenes: Warlord’s Deadly Battle in Congo,” Toward Freedom, August 9, 2007. The Angolan military protected Kinshasa during the so-called “rebellion” involving Rwanda and Uganda. The Angolans do not like the Rwandans or Ugandans due to their military and commercial relations with Angolan rebels, the União Nacionalpara a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), and because Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers invaded Angola after their failed bid to control the Congo’s strategic Inga Dam power station and Matadi port between 1998 and 2001. Angola sent troops to Congo in July and August 2006, and there were black Angolan troops amongst the European Union mercenary forces—EUFOR—sent to quell any possible rebellions during the “historic national elections.” Angola also sent troops to Congo to back Kabila during the warlord’s deadly battle of March 2007. #
    25. “Presidential Chopper,” Africa Confidential, Vol. 47 Number 23, November 17, 2006. #
    26. See: Overseas Security Services Congo sprl web site. # #
    27. OSS-Congo owner Philippe de Moerloose communicated with this author after his name appeared in a prior story mentioning OSS-Congo and offered to meet in Europe and provide the author with the “correct” information about his companies operations in Congo. Repeated communications with De Moerloose seeking clarifications and information for this story were not answered. #
    28. See e.g., SEC info on Lenorth Holdings and SDG Marketing. #
    29. Lior Chorev, The First [DRC] Diamond Polishing Plant to Move into Full Production, Press Release, DGI Group of Companies, January 11, 2005. #
    30. ARAD Communications web site. #
    31. Private communication, Lior Chorev, January 19, 2008. #
    32. See: keith harmon snow, “Over Five Million Dead in Congo?Dissident Voice, February 4, 2008. #
    33. Private email communication, Lior Chorev, January 19, 2008. See also: Gil Hoffman, “Olmert, Netanyahu Rivalry Gets Personal,”, March 26, 2006; “Sharon allies and foes joust over new party as March 28 elections are set,” Associated Press, November 22, 2005. #
    34. NATO Transformation, the Mediterranean Dialog, and NATO-Israel Relations, October 23, 2006. #
    35. Yossi Melman and Asaf Carmel, “Diamond in the Rough,” Haaretz, March 24, 2005. #
    36. The Olayan Group web site. #
    37. The Steinmetz Group. #
    38. Gil Hoffman, “Politics; Unconscious Legacy,” Jerusalem Post,, January 3, 2008. # #
    39. United Nations Panel of Experts Confidential Report. #
    40. Under the contract Emaxon granted Miba loans totaling $5-million in 2003, and a further $10-million subsequently. In exchange, Emaxon gained rights to 88% of Miba’s production at a discount, formally, of 5%. #
    41. Herzog, Fox and Neeman web site. #
    42. Tevapharm. #
    43. See: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
    44. On Neeman and Hurvitz, see Markstone Capital Group; on Robert Rotberg, Maurice Templesman and the Harvard Belfer Center, see: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
    45. Criminal rackets known to the United Nations security were or some time illegally shipping uranium and cobalt out of Katanga by road to Zimbabwe and Tanzania (private interview, U.N. Official, 2006). #
    46. Israel and Africa: Assessing the Past, Envisioning the Future, The Africa Institute American Jewish Committee and The Harold Hartog School Tel Aviv University, May 2006. #
    47. Ron Ben-Yishai and Molly Camprier-Kritz, “The Murder Request Went to the Wrong Address,” Yediot Aharonot weekend supplement on 19 September 1999. #
    48. Nicole Gaouette, “Inside Israel’s diamond trade: a family affair,” Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002. # #
    49. For a discussion of the veracity of these facts and more on the “Russian Military Brotherhood” see: Central Africa Minerals and Arms Research Bulletin, Edition 2, International Peace Information Service, June 18, 2001. #
    50. Jimmy Johnson, “Israelis and Hezbollah Haven’t Always Been Enemies,” Appearing in Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions USA, 6 September 2006. #
    51. Report of the Panel of Experts Appointed Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1306 (2000), Paragraph 19, in Relation to Sierra Leone, December 2000. #
    52. Energem web site; and also: keith harmon snow and Rick Hines, “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception About those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July, 2007. #
    53. Mineweb. #
    54. Charles Higham, Trading With The Enemy: The Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949, Delacorte Press, 1983. # #
    55. Susan Mazur, “Deeper Into the Dillon-Euphronios Nexus with David N. Gibbs,” SCOOP, April 26, 2006. #
    56. David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Chicago Press, 1991. #
    57. Eric Onstad, “UPDATE 2-CAMEC shares soar after agrees Congo joint venture,” Reuters, Nov. 7, 2007. #
    58. Brenna Chigonga, “Zimbabwe: Meet Country’s Richest People,” The Herald, July 14, 2007. #
    59. See: Maurice Carney, “Congo’s Contract Review,” Pambazuka News, January 17, 2008. #
    60. Martin Creamer, “Funded NIKANOR presses on with $1,8bn copper mine, refinery,” Mining Weekly, September 21, 2007. #
    61. Julie Walker, “Hersovs and Menells are in no hurry to yield control of Anglovaal,” Sunday Times. #
    62. Evelyn Groenink, “Arms deal: Who got R1bn in pay-offs?Mail & Guardian, January 12, 2007. #
    63. Teal Exploration & Mining web site. #
    64. Press Release: Kenya-Uganda Oil Products Pipeline, Kenya-Uganda Joint Co-coordinating Commission for Extension of Oil Pipeline, August 17, 2005; see also: Energem web site. #
    65. François Misser and Olivier Vallée, “Des matières premières toujours convoitées. Les nouveaux acteurs du secteur minier Africain,” Le Monde Diplomatique, May 1998, p.24-25; also Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Mellon Press, 1999. #
    66. Diamond Fields International Management. #
    67. ‘Inculpations à la Belgolaise’, Le Libre Belgique, 4 June 2004. #
    68. Private interview, Kinshasa, DRC, April 2007. #
    69. Norm Dixon, “Congo Massacre: Australian mining company’s managers indicted,” Green Left Review, November 4, 2006. #
    70. His name is known, but he threatened to track down and break the author’s legs if he is revealed. #
    71. See: Barry Sergeant, “NIKANOR’s Quandry: Meet Dan the Man, King of the Congo,” MoneyWeb, 4 April 2007; “Congo Kinshasa: After the Election” Africa Confidential, Vol. 47, No. 23, 17 Nov. 2006; and United Nations Security Council Report to the Secretary General, S/2003/1027, 23 October 2003. #
    72. George Forrest International. #
    73. Personal investigation, Ndola, Zambia copperbelt mines, 2000. #
    74. Nikanor. #
    75. These are: the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); Federal Foreign Office; Federal Ministry of Finance; and Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor. Since 1998 the Supervisory Board Chairman has been State Secretary Erich Stather from the BMZ. #
    76. Karen Hayes and Richard Burge, Coltan Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo: How tantalum-using industries can commit to the reconstruction of the DRC, Fauna & Flora Int’l, 2003. #
    77. NIKANOR web site. #
    78. Metallurg Group. #
    79. See keith harmon snow, “Three Cheers for Eve Ensler? Propaganda, White Collar Crime, and Sexual Violence in Eastern Congo,” Z Magazine on-line (Z-Net), October 24, 2007. #
    80. Moshe Schnitzer: Un Legende s’en est Allee,” Kadima 010, June-September 2007. #
    81. The Israel Diamond Exchange — Kiryat Moshe Schnitzer”, Diamond Key, 2002. #
    Keith Harmon Snow is an independent human rights investigator and war correspondent who worked with Survivors Rights International (2005-2006), Genocide Watch (2005-2006) and the United Nations (2006) to document and expose genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan and Ethiopia. He has worked in 17 countries in Africa, and he recently worked in Afghanistan.


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