Here are the key findings, quoting directly from in this new report:
• Tonnes of gold produced in eastern Congo benefit rebels and high-ranking members of the Congolese and Burundian state armies. The gold is laundered through Burundi’s domestic gold sector and exported to Dubai.
• Neither local buyers in the Great Lakes region nor international traders conduct adequate checks on the gold they purchase to ensure that it has not funded conflict or human rights abuses in eastern Congo.
• Efforts to establish conflict-free supply chains in the tin and tantalum trade are progressing. The first international project attempting to source conflict-free tin from a conflict area in eastern Congo was launched in October 2012.
• Much of the tin, tantalum and tungsten produced in North and South Kivu benefits rebels and members of the state army. The minerals are smuggled out of Congo into Rwanda and Burundi for export. Tin and tantalum smuggled into Rwanda is laundered through the country’s domestic tagging system and exported as ‘clean’ Rwandan material.
The question is, how do we support legitimate gold trade from the Congo that is essential for the countries recovery?
To hear a small scale miner’s perspective on the issues, read our post from 2011, Die By The Bullet Or Die By Starvation. Is That The Stark Choice?