Democratic Republic of the Congo

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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.

What do you do in the DRC?

The DRC is home to one of the world’s main copper-mining regions: the African Copperbelt. In the DRC, we have a substantial stake in Katanga Mining and wholly own Mutanda Mining, both located in the DR Congo’s Katanga province.

How do you contribute to the economy in the DRC?

We help the DRC achieve lasting economic growth through our investments. By the end of 2017, we had invested approximately $7 billion in our Congolese assets.

In 2018, our total taxes, royalties and other payments to government totalled USD1.06 billion. 

We are supporting a public-private partnership through our interests in Katanga Mining and Mutanda Mining and the government with a $400 million commitment towards the refurbishment of the DRC’s power infrastructure. This partnership is delivering on the government’s ambition of universal electricity access through a stable countrywide power supply.

How are you working to improve safety?

Safety is our top priority: in the DRC as elsewhere, we are committed to eliminating fatalities and injuries. 

How do you support local communities?

In the DRC, we support communities via a range of social investment projects – including funding for water pumps, schools and hospitals. 

We also encourage economic diversification projects delivered by local cooperatives. These projects focus on agriculture (livestock, bee keeping, dairy and production of flour, jam and juices), welding, carpentary and catering. These projects have supported over 4,000 people, providing training, and business development support.

How have you supported access to water?

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. 

What health initiatives do you run?

Katanga and Mutanda provide health facilities for employees and their dependants. 

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
  • Vaccination campaigns reaching more than 30,000 children 
  • Support and training for local hospitals and medical staff
What are you doing about child labour?

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. Over 9,000 children took part in 2018. Through cooperatives, we encourage economic diversification and alternative livelihoods to deter the participation of children and women in ASM.

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.

How do you manage security and protect human rights at our assets?

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 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. Mutanda also provides regular training to the regional police force. Our staff and contractors are prohibited from carrying firearms. We also have a range of mechanisms to let local stakeholders communicate concerns.