Reuters reports that the void left by multinationals in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is being filled by determined artisanal miners.
Artisanal mining in the DRC is regulated by the government, in a sharp contrast to other countries where players ply their trade illegally.
The government’s move to sanction artisanal mining has worked like a charm.
According to Reuters, due to low commodity prices, multinational mining companies are have been laying off staff massively, and small-scale mining and absorbed people who would have otherwise been unemployed.
The country’s mines ministry has authorised dozens of cooperatives of workers to exploit 10 km2 plots of land owned by state miner, Gecamines.
Tens of thousands of people, some of them recently retrenched in the formal sector, dig near mines owned by giants like Glencore and Eurasian Resources Group.
Without the necessary finance, small-scale mining might not realise its full potential, says Alain Chinois, the Congolese president of a cooperative with 34 members. He feels it might be viable to turn to foreigners for funding.