Forty three miners have been confirmed dead and many more are feared to by buried under rubble at a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following a collapse on Thursday 27 June 2019. The incident happened at the Glencoe-owned KOV Open Pit Mine near Kolwezi in Lualaba Province, where artisanal miners (small scale miners armed with hand tools) had entered part of the site to dig into the sides of old terraces surrounding the mine, an operation which apparently weakened the mine wall, leading to the collapse.
Terraces at the KOV Open Pit Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mining Review Africa.
Like may other African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo has granted concessions to mining companies in areas where small-scale artisanal mining has traditionally helped to supplement the incomes of subsistence farmers. This provides an important source of revenue for governments, however, little of the money from such projects tends to reach local communities, which often leads to ill feeling and attempts to continue mining clandestinely, which can result in tension or even clashes between mine operators and local populations.
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