Democratic Republic of the Congo: Mineral Exploitation by Armed Groups & Other Entities (as of 7 June 2013)
Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Fiscal Year 2010, Public Law 111-203, enacted on July 21, 2010, states that “the Secretary of State shall, in accordance with the recommendation of the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their December 2008 report—(i) produce a map of mineral-rich zones, trade routes, and areas under the control of armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and adjoining countries based on data from multiple sources, including—(I) the United Nations Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo; (II) the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the governments of adjoining countries, and the governments of other Member States of the United Nations; and (III) local and international nongovernmental organizations.” This map was compiled by the U.S. Department of State to submit to the Committees on Appropriations, Foreign Aairs, Ways and Means, and Financial Services of the House of Representatives, and the Committees on Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Aairs of the Senate. The map is based on information from the June and November 2012 Group of Experts reports on the DRC and ancillary sources. It focuses on the exploitation of gold, cassiterite, wolframite, and columbite-tantalite (coltan) in the provinces of North Kivu and South Kivu, and parts of Orientale, Maniema, and Katanga provinces. Activity that was reported to have occurred in 2012 and could be displayed on the map is included.
Previous iterations of this map were based on 2009 and 2010 studies completed by a non-governmental organization, the International Peace Information Service (IPIS), and 2011 data from the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO). In the absence of new data from these and other sources, and to improve the availability, breadth, timeliness, and quality of information, IPIS and the DRC government have launched a capacity-building project focused on mine site monitoring, data collection, and mapping. Data collection has begun and new information will be available in mid-2013. The Department expects to draw on these data for future iterations of this map, and has consulted the DRC government, the Group of Experts, and MONUSCO regarding the current map.
Lack of verfiable data makes it difficult, in terms of what may be included in an appropriate manner for an official Department map, to conrm the location of many mine sites; to establish which mines are active and which are inactive at any given time; and to comprehensively verify the armed groups or other entities that are either present at mines or have access to revenue streams emanating from them. These conditions change frequently and were complicated by heightened conflict in 2012, in particular between the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) and the M23 rebellion.
FARDC units and other state security forces are deployed throughout the eastern provinces. According to the Group of Experts and other sources, some elements of the state security forces continue to engage in extortion or control of the mineral trade.
There are hundreds of mining sites in North and South Kivu alone, nearly all of which are artisanal mines (dug by hand with basic tools), and the majority of which are very small scale operations that operate intermittently. Many of the mining sites in eastern DRC are inaccessible to outsiders due to remoteness, a lack of passable roads, and the dangers stemming from the presence of militia, undisciplined army troops, and bandits. A comprehensive mapping study that applies a consistent methodology within a single timeframe to the entirety of DRC’s conflict-affected eastern provinces and adjacent countries has not been conducted.
As such, companies, trade associations, governments, and other stakeholders involved in the minerals trade should continue to obtain additional data through their own channels, as recommended in the guidance on due diligence adopted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and cited by the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.
In light of the above, this map should not by itself be considered a source of sufficient information to serve as a substitute for the exercise of effective due diligence on companies’ supply chains.