Since 2014, the DRC has produced more than 1 million tons of copper and cobalt, making it the largest African producer of base metals – far ahead of its traditional rival Zambia. The main challenge, however, is how to make the resource-driven economic growth more inclusive. How to reduce the rampant poverty that affects the vast majority of people living in mining areas?
In 2013 and 2014 Cordaid, together with its local partners in Katanga (the traditional mining province of the DRC), supported four participatory community development planning processes in the mining concession areas of Tenke Fungurume Mining (operated by Freeport-McMoran), Kamoa Copper Project SA (operated by Ivanhoe Mines), Kamoto Copper Company (KCC) and Mutanda Mining (MUMI), both owned by Glencore).
Perceptions of local communities
The new social baseline study completes these activities by providing a better understanding of the perceptions, expectations and priorities of local communities and the impact of industrial mining on their daily lives. The study focuses on the institutional context, the livelihoods systems of local communities, stakeholder dynamics as well as positive and negative impacts (real and potential) of mining on riverine communities in southern Katanga. It also includes the important issues of gender in the context of industrial mining. The study recommends stakeholders to better identify the needs and expectations of communities, better plan and coordinate their activities and engage more constructively with local communities.
Above all, the report aims to help strengthen the legal framework of the extractives sector in the DRC on those issues that directly affect community development, i.e. 1) free, prior and informed consent of communities impacted by mining projects; 2) the development of regulations on expropriation, relocation and compensation of directly affected communities; 3) the establishment and management of community development funds; and 4) the use of implementation agreements (‘cahier des charges’) between communities and companies.