Watch: Mountain made of gold-rich ores found in DR Congo, locals rush in with shovels

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Mar 08, 2021, 09:39 AM(IST)

Gold production in the Congo is systematically underreported and tonnes of precious metal are smuggled into global supply chains through its eastern neighbours, the UN Group of Experts on the Congo reported last year. Photograph:( Twitter )

Story highlights

A gold rush drawing thousands to a village in Congo’s South Kivu province has driven authorities to ban mining there until more oversight is established, the provincial mines minister said.

Hundreds of villagers flocked to a small village of Luhihi in the Democratic Republic of Congo to illegally mine gold after a mountain made-up of gold deposits were discovered.     

Authorities had to announce a ban on mining activities after the gold rush in South Kivu province drew thousands of diggers to the site. 

Freelance journalist Ahmad Algobary shared a video on his Twitter account that shows villagers digging out the mountain.

“A video from the Republic of the Congo documents the biggest surprise for some villagers in this country, as an entire mountain filled with gold was discovered! They dig the soil inside the gold deposits and take them to their homes to wash the dirt& extract the gold”, the journalist wrote.

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Subsistence mining - extracting minerals with rudimentary tools - is common across the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the “artisanal” gold mining is especially widespread in the gold-producing east and northeast of the country.

Miners, traders and members of Congo’s armed forces (FARDC) were required to leave the mine sites in and around Luhihi and all mining activities were suspended until further notice, a decree dated on Monday and confirmed by Muhigirwa, said.

The presence of FARDC at the mine sites - prohibited under Congo’s mining code - contributed to the “disorder” at Luhihi, the decree said.

Muhigirwa said the mining suspension would allow authorities to identify the miners and ensure they are properly registered with artisanal mining regulators.

Order must be re-established in mining activities in Luhihi “not only to protect lives but also to ensure the traceability of the gold produced in line with Congolese law,” the decree said.

Gold production in the Congo is systematically underreported and tonnes of precious metal are smuggled into global supply chains through its eastern neighbours, the UN Group of Experts on the Congo reported last year.

(With inputs from agencies)

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