The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is an important copper-producing nation. See how we are working to support the country’s long-term growth.
We help the DRC achieve lasting economic growth through our investments. By the end of 2016, we had invested more than $6 billion in our Congolese assets.
Our investments have created about 12,000 employee and contractor jobs, almost all held by DRC nationals. Between 2013 and 2016, we paid $1bn in taxes and royalties.
Safety is our top priority: in the DRC as elsewhere, we are committed to eliminating fatalities and injuries.
After the fatal collapse of a mine wall in Katanga in 2016, the Board’s Health, Safety, Environment and Communities (HSEC) Committee visited the DRC to understand why it happened and we put in place corrective plans.
In the DRC, we support communities via a range of social investment projects – including funding for water pumps, schools and hospitals.
During the suspension of Katanga’s operations in 2015, hospitals, health projects and water supply projects as well as the community development programmes continued to operate in partnership with the government.
In 2016 Katanga and Mutanda supported 88 co-operatives in the agricultural sector, with more than 3,000 members.
Katanga is working in partnership with a public water distribution organisation (Regideso) to improve water distribution in the city of Kolwezi by upgrading its water filtration plant.
Mutanda has drilled and equipped four wells for neighbouring communities and rehabilitated 11 existing community wells.
Katanga and Mutanda provide health facilities for employees and their dependants. Katanga’s facilities held consultations with 67,100 patients in 2016, while Mutanda’s held consultations with 36,800 patients in 2016.
We also provide:
- Community awareness programmes on subjects such as blood donation, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS
- Anti-malarial spraying programme covering 12,000 households – more than 80,000 people – in 2016
- Vaccination campaigns reaching more than 30,000 children in 2016
- Support and training for local hospitals and medical staff.
Our DRC assets are located in a region where artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) occurs. Although legal ASM does occur in the DRC, generally, such mining can be dangerous and involve child labour, which is a major concern to us.
We prohibit child labour at our operations and among our suppliers. We do not support ASM; nor do we process or purchase any material derived from ASM in the DRC.
We focus on outreach to children in high-risk communities. Working with educational authorities, we run summer camps for children, including awareness campaigns on the risks of ASM. Around 4,000 children took part in 2016.
In relation to cobalt, we take a custodial approach to the supply chain, ensuring that the specification and origin of all cobalt product is clearly defined in our contractual arrangements.
We seek to prevent illegal access (by artisanal miners) to our mines in accordance with company policies and procedures on human rights, safety and security operations. We have security employees and private security contractors at our mines. In accordance with the local laws, the Congolese mine police is present on our concessions, however, we do not direct the mine police. We provide with them with human rights induction.
All our security employees and private security contractors receive training on the application of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights every year. In 2016 we trained 1,362 contractors and 616 employees. Our staff and contractors are prohibited from carrying firearms. We also have a range of mechanisms to let local stakeholders communicate concerns.