The Lualaba Province and Sud South join forces to transform artisanal mining in the D.R Congo.
Dernière mise à jour : 29 oct. 2021
Kolwezi, October 27, 2021
The Lualaba Province and Sud South have signed a multi-year agreement for the management of the newly built Musompo Trading Centre. This is an important step in an ambitious programme to streamline the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This Wednesday, 27 October 2021, Her excellency Fifi Masuka Saini, Governor of the Lualaba Province, and Eddy Kioni, CEO of Sud South, signed a landmark agreement for the future of the artisanal and small-scale mining industry of the country. The project preparation will start immediately, with the operational roll-out planned for early 2022. By entrusting the management of the Musompo Trading Centre to Sud South, a 100% Congolese company founded by business players with experience in the mining industry, the Province has laid the groundwork for transforming and professionalising the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the country and region.
Leveraging demand for minerals
The establishment of the Musompo Trading Centre is the most decisive step of a strategic plan to make artisanal and small-scale mining meet international standards, in particular women’s and children’s rights, and to ensure artisanal miners are properly compensated.
“The ongoing energy transition has increased demands for minerals such as copper, cobalt, lithium and rare earths,” Eddy Kioni, CEO of Sud South explains. “This is a unique opportunity for Congo with its vast mineral wealth. As an indication, it is interesting to note that a fifth of the national annual cobalt production originates currently from artisanal and small-scale mines, where the local population finds a reliable source of livelihood. The artisanal and small-scale mining sector, however, is fragmented, and suffers from a reputation of child labour and treating women unfairly. We are joining forces with the Lualaba Province to provide a solution to this problem thanks to a system of certification and traceability.”
Certification and Traceability
In the near future, artisanal mines will have to undergo a certification process. This process will be led by Sud South, in partnership with an internationally recognised certification specialist, and is based on the national artisanal and small-scale mining certification and traceability programme of the Democratic Replubic of Congo Governement. Only certified mines will be allowed to bring their ore to the Musompo Trading Centre, who will be the sole platform authorised to host local sellers and national and international buyers. Every single bag of ore coming out of certified mines will be tagged to ensure traceability and brought to the centre. It will then be stored in the Centre and shipped to buyers using a fleet of trucks.
“The ore will be traceable from the moment it is received from the artisanal miners on site to the moment it reaches the Musompo Trading Centre. Soon, it will be possible to trace the ore up to the point of exportation. This way, the end users will be able to ascertain the origin of their inputs and respect their commitment to ethical production. All the relevant information will be available through a public-permissioned blockchain technology, ensuring access to decentralised and forgery-proof data on all ore coming from the Musompo Trading Centre”
For Fifi Masuka Saini, Governor of the Lualaba Province, this project has a strategic importance for Lualaba, but also for the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“The Congolese state is determined to promote the improvement of the living standards of the local communities, to ensure the maximisation of its tax revenues and to foster the emergence of a prosperous national economy. This will also allow the DRC to valuably contribute to the fight against climate change by leveraging both artisanal and industrial production of minerals that are strategic to developing new energy solutions.”
By establishing the Musompo Trading Centre as the provincial hub for trading minerals, the Province acts as a pioneer in cleaning up the artisanal and small-scale mining sector through an integrated technology-based solution and will establish good practices that will eventually become the norm in the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in the DRC.
A 100% Congolese Solution
By entrusting the management of the Musompo Trading Centre to Sud South, the Lualaba Province is also promoting a 100% Congolese solution. “Sud South is a Congolese company relying on our own expertise and that of reputed international partners,” Eddy Kioni explains.
“We are particularly proud of this partnership with the Lualaba Province, as it is an important step in developing a key sector in line with the vision of the President of the DRC for the emergence of a strong and balanced national economy.”