• 26 mins ConocoPhillips Sets Price Ceiling For New Projects
  • 2 days Shell Oil Trading Head Steps Down After 29 Years
  • 3 days Higher Oil Prices Reduce North American Oil Bankruptcies
  • 3 days Statoil To Boost Exploration Drilling Offshore Norway In 2018
  • 3 days $1.6 Billion Canadian-US Hydropower Project Approved
  • 3 days Venezuela Officially In Default
  • 3 days Iran Prepares To Export LNG To Boost Trade Relations
  • 3 days Keystone Pipeline Leaks 5,000 Barrels Into Farmland
  • 3 days Saudi Oil Minister: Markets Will Not Rebalance By March
  • 3 days Obscure Dutch Firm Wins Venezuelan Oil Block As Debt Tensions Mount
  • 4 days Rosneft Announces Completion Of World’s Longest Well
  • 4 days Ecuador Won’t Ask Exemption From OPEC Oil Production Cuts
  • 4 days Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Proposes To Ditch Oil Stocks
  • 4 days Ecuador Seeks To Clear Schlumberger Debt By End-November
  • 4 days Santos Admits It Rejected $7.2B Takeover Bid
  • 4 days U.S. Senate Panel Votes To Open Alaskan Refuge To Drilling
  • 4 days Africa’s Richest Woman Fired From Sonangol
  • 5 days Oil And Gas M&A Deal Appetite Highest Since 2013
  • 5 days Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry
  • 5 days Venezuela Signs $3.15B Debt Restructuring Deal With Russia
  • 5 days DOJ: Protestors Interfering With Pipeline Construction Will Be Prosecuted
  • 5 days Lower Oil Prices Benefit European Refiners
  • 5 days World’s Biggest Private Equity Firm Raises $1 Billion To Invest In Oil
  • 6 days Oil Prices Tank After API Reports Strong Build In Crude Inventories
  • 6 days Iraq Oil Revenue Not Enough For Sustainable Development
  • 6 days Sudan In Talks With Foreign Oil Firms To Boost Crude Production
  • 6 days Shell: Four Oil Platforms Shut In Gulf Of Mexico After Fire
  • 6 days OPEC To Recruit New Members To Fight Market Imbalance
  • 6 days Green Groups Want Norway’s Arctic Oil Drilling Licenses Canceled
  • 6 days Venezuelan Oil Output Drops To Lowest In 28 Years
  • 6 days Shale Production Rises By 80,000 BPD In Latest EIA Forecasts
  • 7 days GE Considers Selling Baker Hughes Assets
  • 7 days Eni To Address Barents Sea Regulatory Breaches By Dec 11
  • 7 days Saudi Aramco To Invest $300 Billion In Upstream Projects
  • 7 days Aramco To List Shares In Hong Kong ‘For Sure’
  • 7 days BP CEO Sees Venezuela As Oil’s Wildcard
  • 7 days Iran Denies Involvement In Bahrain Oil Pipeline Blast
  • 9 days The Oil Rig Drilling 10 Miles Under The Sea
  • 10 days Baghdad Agrees To Ship Kirkuk Oil To Iran
  • 10 days Another Group Joins Niger Delta Avengers’ Ceasefire Boycott
Alt Text

Busting The Lithium Bubble Myth

Lithium demand continues to grow…

Alt Text

How Long Will The Lithium Rush Last?

As the race to secure…

Alt Text

Don’t Expect Palladium Prices To Plunge

Palladium has recently soared to…

Stuart Burns

Stuart Burns

Stuart is a writer for MetalMiner who operate the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive…

More Info

Chinese Money and Conflict Minerals in The Democratic Republic of Congo

Chinese Money and Conflict Minerals in The Democratic Republic of Congo

It would seem that in spite of democracy, not much changes in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). To say bribery, corruption, theft, tax evasion and coercion are rife in the DRC is to invite accusations of western imperialist bigotry and the unjustified use of stereotypical labels from many quarters, but the reality is business and indeed much of anything involving money in the DRC does not operate to standards widely assumed by the rest of the world as fair and open.

Four years after signing what was said to be a US $9 billion minerals-for-infrastructure deal with China, President Joseph Kabila’s cronies are said in a Mineweb article to still be negotiating behind closed doors with their Chinese partners, without almost any involvement by the Ministries of Budget, Finance or Economy. According to Global Witness, an NGO with extensive experience in the region, negotiations are being handled by one insider, Augustin Katumba Mwanke, a presidential adviser without any official role in government who in a 2002 final report of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the Congo was named as “one of the chief figures in an elite network of Congolese and Zimbabwean political, military and commercial interests [which] seeks to maintain its grip on the main mineral resources…of the government-controlled area [of the Congo].” According to Mineweb, the UN report contended that, “This network has transferred ownership of at least USD 5bn of assets from the state mining sector to private companies under its control in the past three years with no compensation or benefit for the state treasury.”

Against this backdrop, the US is to enact the “conflict minerals” bill in April, which will require companies to prove that minerals extracted from the DRC and its nine neighboring countries are not linked to conflict. In a country where conflict verging on civil war has been almost continuous for the last 16 years, in which an estimated 5.4 million people have been killed, including 2.7 million children, rebel groups still control large sections of the eastern provinces guaranteeing conflict-free sources will be tough. Although a Reuters report quotes Dieudonne-Louis Tambwe, deputy technical co-coordinator at the DRC Ministry of Mines, saying the government would provide mining services and regulators to create secure centers where diggers could sell their products for state controlled export. Going on the authorities’ track record, one has to question how reliable any system set up and run by the authorities is going to be, how regulators will ensure purchased minerals are from where they say they are. Mr. Tambwe told Reuters: “This is an answer to what the Americans are doing with the legislation. We provide documentation so that whatever products have gone through that scheme are certified.”  The reality is US (and European) companies will almost certainly not buy from the DRC.

No such compunctions about minerals being linked to human suffering will hinder the Chinese, though; they are almost certainly seeing this as a positive development, leaving the field open to them and strengthening their hand at the table as the only buyer of substance. Meanwhile, the World Bank’s IDA and the IMF announced in July 2010 that they would support USD 12.3 billion in debt relief for the DRC – for zero in return. At least the Chinese hold out the chance of getting some valuable metals in return for their dollars, in spite of the ruling elites’ efforts to cream off a fair proportion of the spoils for themselves.

By. Stuart Burns

(www.agmetalminer.com) MetalMiner is the largest metals-related media site in the US according to third party ranking sites. With a preemptive global perspective on the issues, trends, strategies, and trade policies that will impact how you source and/or trade metals and related metals services, MetalMiner provides unique insight, analysis, and tools for buyers, purchasing professionals, and everyone else for whom metals and their related markets matter.




Back to homepage


Leave a comment

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News