In eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector employs hundreds of thousands of people and plays an important role in the local economy. While largescale armed conflict over DRC’s mineral wealth has decreased significantly over the past twenty years, armed actors continuously interfere in the mining sector, and conflicts over resources at the local level are still common. The International Peace Information Service (IPIS) has mapped around 2,720 ASM sites in eastern DRC since 2009, collecting primary data about the interference of armed groups, types of minerals, mineral pricing, worker demographics, trade routes, environmental issues, etc.
As ASM sites continuously change, IPIS regularly updates its database and map of mine sites as new information is gathered during each visit. Within the framework of its latest mines mapping project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) project, IPIS visited 450 artisanal mining sites in eastern DRC between September 2021 and March 2022. In total, 354 were active sites, spread over different provinces, namely Haut-Uele, Tshopo, North Kivu, South Kivu, Maniema, and Tanganyika.
IPIS selects study areas based on a few criteria, including interesting new developments, time since the area was last visited, and whether other ASM stakeholders or (international) partners express an interest in a particular zone. In each area, teams visit as many sites as possible within the time of their research trip, giving priority to the most productive sites.
This report presents a summary of the information collected and interim findings. Further site visits and data collection will continue until early 2023.
Download the full report in English here.
Download the executive summary in French here.