Gold commerce: What are the situations in Congolese mines? | EUROtoday

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As of: April 29, 2024 4:58 p.m

The value of gold has just lately been greater than ever. But little of it goes down nicely with those that work exhausting to extract the gold in mines. A Congolese firm now needs to make commerce extra clear.

Karin Bensch, WDR

It's darkish and sizzling. Men squeeze by means of slim tunnels supported by easy wood trunks. The gold miners within the Democratic Republic of Congo generally need to bend over and in some locations crawl on all fours. You sweat. Only the small gentle from their headlamps breaks by means of the darkness.

The miners work with the only instruments. They knock the gold-bearing rock out of the rock face with a hammer and chisel or scrape it out of the earth. They then carry the gold ore out of the mine in heavy sacks on their shoulders. It's a troublesome job.

“We sacrifice ourselves for the work”

In the center of Africa, within the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there’s what everybody needs: gold. Here the valuable metallic could be very pure and subsequently very beneficial.

Justin is likely one of the miners within the small city of Luhihi. He wears a brown wool hat and dusty garments. He appears determined and indignant on the identical time. He says he needs to ship a message to the nation's authorities that they need to take into consideration them. “We are the children of this country and we suffer. We sacrifice ourselves for work, but we can't find anyone to help us.”

Workers in a gold mine within the Democratic Republic of Congo (archive photograph)

Doing enterprise, above all insurgent teams

The gold mines within the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo present nice wealth. But the miners often solely obtain a pittance. Militant insurgent teams do the massive enterprise.

They management the gold mines and patrol the world in camouflage uniforms armed with submachine weapons and cartridge belts. More than 120 armed teams are mentioned to be energetic in japanese Congo, securing a share of the wealthy gold deposits and thereby financing themselves.

Gold additionally finds its means into Germany illegally

Observers assume that a lot of the gold is smuggled into neighboring nations and from there bought overseas. In this manner, gold finds its means into Europe, together with Germany, illegally. As a consequence, the Congolese state is dropping tens of millions in tax income.

On the opposite hand, there are additionally representatives of state authorities who work along with the rebels and earn cash from it. The origin of the gold is commonly tough to hint as a result of certificates are cast. This implies that tracing is commonly not potential.

Company needs to make gold buying and selling extra clear

There has been a three way partnership referred to as “Primera Gold” for over a yr. The Congolese authorities and the United Arab Emirates are concerned.

Benjamin Bisimwa works for the administration of “Primera Gold”. He says it's primarily about making gold buying and selling extra clear. “The company's goal is to contribute to the fight against fraud and smuggling.” So far, the neighboring nations Rwanda and Uganda have significantly benefited from this.

According to its personal info, “Primera Gold” can be attempting to enhance the scenario of the miners, for instance with medical insurance. But not a lot has occurred but, say critics.

It can be questionable whether or not the 45 p.c that the Democratic Republic of Congo holds within the firm will truly attain folks in the long run – for colleges, roads, hospitals. And additionally among the many employees within the gold mines.

Karin Bensch, ARD Nairobi, tagesschau, April 29, 2024 4:02 p.m