Copper mine in DR Congo

Priority area Sustainable economic development in the mining sector Loans for small enterprises

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has vast mineral deposits, including cobalt, copper, zinc, silver, diamonds, germanium and uranium, and also what are often referred to as "conflict" minerals: tin, tantalum, wolfram and gold.

Although mining is one of the most important sources of income for the national economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, little has been done until now to harness its potential for the economic and social development of the country. Investors are put off by the country's political instability and the all-pervasive corruption.

In Eastern Congo, all the conflict parties are using mineral trading to finance their fighting. Whereas international trade in the conflict commodities tin, tantalum and wolfram has largely been successfully contained, the supply chains for gold are hard to control.

Human rights violations, child labour, environmental damage and social tensions are huge challenges, especially in artisanal and small-scale mines.

German activities

Germany is focusing its efforts on promoting the transparent, peaceful and development-oriented use of the country's mineral resources. German development cooperation activities cover the following areas:

  • Participation by the public and private sectors and civil society in a dialogue on mining, aimed at promoting a balance of interests
  • Introducing and documenting compliance with international environmental and social safeguards in small-scale mining, developing the CTC certification system for conflict minerals and for cobalt
  • Strengthening Congolese businesses in the supply sector, integrating the industrial mining sector into the local economy, promoting cooperation between international mining companies and small-scale Congolese enterprises
  • Promoting practically relevant training in the mining sector
  • GIZ and the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) are responsible for the implementation of these activities.