The U.S. government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded sustainable mine site validation project (SMSV) project, implemented by non-profit international development organization Pact, will help counter illegal activities such as child labor, violence and other human abuses.
The validation process will verify that no armed groups are present and that the mine has the legal authority to operate.
This process is the first step to ensuring minerals are sourced responsibly and conflict-free, which contributes to broader peace and stability in the region.
“The U.S wants to increase its positive role in advancing Congolese economic prosperity by investing in and trading with the Congolese mining sector.
“But to increase the presence of U.S. companies – which are more committed to improving the local communities in which they work than companies from any other country – in the DRC, we must ensure mining sites are operating legally and transparently,” U.S. Ambassador Mike Hammer noted at the award signing ceremony with Pact.
“The validation of artisanal mining sites is an important initial step in combatting illegal activities in mines such as using child labor, working with armed groups, and violating human rights,” says Paul Sabatine, USAID country director in the DRC.
“The USAID-funding SMSV project will help verify the legality of mining sites,” he added.
USAID-funded validation processes have helped provide a reliable source of conflict-free minerals in the DRC.
Of the estimated 3 000 known artisanal mining sites, USAID has previously supported the validation of more than 500 sites that produce conflict-free minerals including tungsten, tantalum, tin (3TG).