At least 43 artisanal miners have died due to a mine collapse in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The collapse took place at an industrial copper and cobalt mine owned by the multinational mining company Glencore.
The provincial governer, speaking to Reuters, outlined that:
“It was caused by the clandestine artisanal digger who have infiltrated (the mine). The old terraces gave way, causing significant amounts of material fall”
Due to vast reserves of minerals in the DRC industrial and artisanal mining are major industries, producing over half of the world’s cobalt (a vital part of electric car batteries). However, due to this wealth of minerals and a lack of official or regulated artisanal mining sites, illegal mining by groups of artisanal miners is commonplace.
Illegal miners tend to use rudimentary methods and equipment which increase risks, while also breaking into old or existing industrial mining sites. Leading to growing calls for more sustainable approaches to mining in countries like the DRC.
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