Within the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the precept of a monopoly on the acquisition of artisanal cobalt granted to the overall cobalt firm EGC shares artisanal mining cooperatives within the Katanga area. For some, this precept dangers suffocating them. For the others, this monopoly from ECG, a public firm, will make it doable to clear the provision chain for this strategic mineral. These contradictions make some 20 NGOs within the pure sources sector, together with Afrewatch, worry that conflicts between the artisanal miners and the brand new firm will resurface.
From our correspondent in Lubumbashi,
For the reason that begin of the overall cobalt enterprise, EGC, craft miners have 5 months left to observe the legislation. This public firm, which was created in November 2019, will now have a monopoly on the acquisition of artisanal cobalt. This is nearly 20% of the DRC’s whole cobalt manufacturing.
A monopoly that worries Jacques Kaumba, head of the Comakat mining cooperative in Kolwezi. “We can not declare to have a monopoly on the harvest of all manufacturing, however we reserve the proper to finance the manufacturing ourselves. The best bidder is the one who should purchase the merchandise. “
An opinion that Théo Mafo, head of the Federation of Mining Cooperatives in Kolwezi, doesn’t share: “There may be a risk to the embargo that weighed on the Democratic Republic of Congo on account of the presence of youngsters within the cobalt provide chain. I believe we’d like to safe this necessary ore that’s cobalt. “
Extra transparency is required
For his or her half, NGOs within the pure sources sector are demanding extra transparency in the applying of the EGC’s monopoly. As a result of virtually two million Congolese dwell to this present day from artisanal cobalt mining.
Till then, we don’t understand how many websites can be accessible, diggers presently working, the place will they go? As a result of EGC can not purchase the ore that comes from unlawful websites, says Emmanuel Umpula, head of the Afrewatch group.
“All cobalt craft manufacturing should in the end be beneath EGC management”
The regulation of strategic mineral markets has been entrusted by the Congolese state to a construction often called the Arecoms regulator. However because it was created in 2019, it remains to be not operational.
Meanwhile, EGC has already applied its technique. “Each inventive cobalt manufacturing web site should finally be beneath EGC management,” explains Élisée Kazadi, its deputy director. “We will guarantee that we have now the capability to distribute to all places in Haut-Katanga and Lualaba. And the extra we occupy the websites, the extra we organize to satisfy all of the demand. “
EGC intends to offer $ 7.5 million per week for the acquisition of cobalt. In keeping with the Ministry of Mines, all artisanal cobalt manufacturing should go by the Kolwezi commerce middle to make sure traceability.