The China-Global South Project has created an interactive map of the copper and cobalt industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that details industrial mining projects, artisanal mining sites, and processing entities located in the southeastern provinces of Haut-Katanga and Lualaba.
Detailed information about the industrial mining/processing projects including the specific mining permit IDs, permit durations, project size, and ownership and location are based entirely on government data sourced directly from the official mining registry of the DR Congo (www.cami.cd).
Using data collected from our research team on the ground, the mining ministry, and the technical and planning unit of the mining industry in DRC, CGSP has been able to compile production data for various industrial projects over the last five years.
The map is divided into five main parts:
- The Interactive Map
- 2022 Production
- Export Flows
- Additional Information
- List of Companies
The Interactive Map
In order to map artisanal copper and cobalt sites in the DR Congo, we used information from the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) in Hannover [Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources] as our main starting point. It is available in their 2019 report, Mapping of the Artisanal Copper-Cobalt Mining Sector in the Provinces of Haut-Katanga and Lualaba in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and in their 2021 report, Mining Conditions and Trading Networks in Artisanal Copper-Cobalt Supply Chains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Using the 2021 BGR report as a guide, CGSP researchers visited artisanal sites in Lualaba province from January to May 2023 to verify the operational status of each mine and to classify them into two categories “Active site” or “Inactive sites.”
For some inactive sites, CGSP was able to determine the cause of their inactivity. For instance, “site récupéré par TFM” (dismantled and reclaimed by TFM [Tenke Fungurume Mine]). For certain active sites, CGSP was able to determine the identity of cobalt/copper buyers that, in most cases, were processing entities located close to the various mines. In some instances, CGSP was also able to determine the mining cooperative that managed certain sites. The locations where researchers were prevented from entering are labeled “access denied.”
Due to funding constraints, CGSP was unable to confirm the operational status of artisanal mining sites in Haut-Katanga province. CGSP hopes to update this information later but in the meantime, those sites have all been classified as “undetermined” and put under the same category as “Inactive sites.”
The information relating to processing entities is based on a database provided by the Cellule Technique de Coordination et Planification Minière (CTCPM) of the Ministry of Mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This database contains the identity and information about all legally registered processing entities that are currently active in the copper-cobalt production sector in both Haut-Katanga and Lualaba provinces.
As the database only provides the physical address of their offices, CGSP researchers visited each to confirm the geographical location of their plants.
This map provides basic information such as their identities, geographical location, affiliation, annual production for 2022, and ownership:
This data revealed that some processing companies also own mining permits, indicating the expansion of their mining activities from processing to actual mining. That explains why some firms are listed in both the “processing entities” and “industrial project” categories.
The information included in this interactive map about industrial mining projects is based on the DR Congo Ministry of Mines’ 2022 annual mining production report that details production and exportation.
CGSP researchers confirmed the validity of each company’s mining permit listed in the dataset by cross-referencing the information obtained from the database of mining permits in the Democratic Republic of Congo available on the Global Forest Watch website and updated in 2019 against the current cartography of the Congolese mining registry that is publicly accessible online (www.cami.cd).
However, it might be possible to detect slight discrepancies in the representation when compared with the current cadastral map. Other than that, the information provided is faithful and accurate with the current situation.
It’s important to note that the mining landscape in the DR Congo is very dynamic with mines and processing facilities opening and closing on a regular basis. Other than that, the information provided is faithful and accurate in accordance with the information listed in the CAMI dataset.
At the outset of this project, the CGSP had hoped to access as much information as possible about mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but much of this information was inaccessible for various reasons. The CGSP hopes to be able to update this information at a later date.
In this iteration of the interactive map, you will be able to access the following information:
Project name, shareholders and their nationality, shareholding, 2022 annual production, project description (if available), project size in mining squares and hectares, deposit size (if available), and mining permit validity period. Further information will be provided upon availability.
This part contains individual copper and cobalt production by entity, shares of Chinese-led and other entities in the DRC copper and cobalt production sectors. The latter is based on the number of these companies compared to the total number of producers/exporters in 2022.
Please note that information about research permits or projects that have not yet gone into production is not available in this data set.
Here historical production data and export flows for Congolese copper and cobalt over the last five years are detailed.
We have been able, thanks to data obtained from and compiled by the technical and planning unit of the DR Congo Ministry of Mines (www.ctcpm.cd), to map exporters, importers, quantities, value, and the destination of both copper and cobalt from the D.R. Congo.
While five years of export data are contained in this data set, information about importers is currently not available. CGSP will update the dataset when that information is released to the public.
Please note the data for the year 2021 are incomplete since they do not contain information for October, November, and December 2021. Once acquired, this data will be reflected in the tool.
In this section of the map, information about export logistics is available, specifically the main railways, ports, and border crossings that are used to transport copper and cobalt from Haut-Katanga and Lualaba provinces.
The map also contains information about social and economic projects and the environmental impact of mining activities. Information was curated from various mining NGOs (both Congolese and international) including DRC-based Africa Resources Watch (Afrewatch) the UK-based NGO Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) and information online.
List of companies
This section lists the names of mining companies operating in the DR Congo, as well as the industrial projects and processing facilities they own, control, or in which they have a participating interest.
The information on the dashboard is for informational and non-commercial purposes. Neither The China-Global South Project nor its partners can be held liable for any decision made or action taken relying on this website’s information. Information on the dashboard is subject to change at any time and without warning.
Because this data was collected and compiled from data from the Congolese mining registry and other Congolese services, the results should be estimates rather than absolute values.
The Congolese mining registry (www.cami.cd) and the technical and planning unit of the D. R. Congo Ministry of Mines (www.ctcpm.cd) remain the legal reference authorities in matters of mining data relevant to the D. R. Congo.
For more information about this interactive map and dataset, please contact CGSP Editor-in-Chief Eric Olander: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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