Despite international interventions from international bodies, illicit trade in gold in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continues unabated, according to Global Witness, a London-based advocacy group.
The passing of international regulations, including Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development guidelines on responsible mineral-supply chains and the US Dodd-Frank Act, seems to have got mixed success in curbing trade in so-called conflict minerals.
While due diligence and traceability programs have reduced opportunities for armed groups, at least 60 continue to operate in eastern Congo, to profit from trade in tin, tantalum and tungsten. Exploiting loopholes, some international companies or at least their associates, are raking in millions from this illicit practice.
One Chinese companies singled out operates gold-dredging boats in the region smuggled as much as $17 million worth of the metal out of the country during a 12-month period between 2014 and 2015. The company is said to have provided militias with $4, 000 and two assault rifles.
Information credits: adapted for African Mining Brief Online from a report filed by Bloomberg