Mar 7. -- Artisanal tin miners in Congo's North Kivu province have formed a local mining company, Kalminco, to improve their livelihoods and comply with mineral-traceability scheme ahead of the implementation of a U.S. act that seeks to stop the sale of illegally mined minerals from Africa that fund conflicts, the miners' group said Saturday.
Leaders of cooperatives representing up to 20,000 small-scale miners and their extended communities of around 100,000 people intend to develop the company into a small-scale mining company and later turn it into a large company owned by local people.
Axel Mutia, general manager of Kalminco, said that the group is trying to ensure that the livelihoods of its members aren't threatened by the Dodd-Frank Act when it comes into effect.
The group wrote to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this week voicing their concerns about sections of the law concerning Congolese minerals. It said that as the Congolese government prepares to lift the mining ban on March 10, they are faced with another embargo under the Dodd-Frank Act.
Artisanal miners account for nearly all of Congo's output of tin ores, wolfram, gold, coltan and tantalum. North Kivu is Congo's largest tin producer, accounting for nearly 80% of the country's tin output. However, years of lawlessness and civil wars have left the sector largely in the hands of artisanal miners who are forced to pay illegal taxes to armed groups in the region.
The group further said that for the past three years, they have been working with Oak Ridge Mining Solutions to develop a fair mining model that will be implemented when the mining ban is lifted. It said the model will focus on social and environmental development, mineral traceability and compliance and ethical and fair trade.