“The Dream” of a Responsible Minerals Trade in the DRC Becomes a Reality

Supporting USAID and its partners in developing a commercially viable, conflict-free supply chain for artisanal minerals from the DRC
Jan 2, 2019 8:00 AM ET
Article

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently launched a new video that tells the story of how its local and international partners are developing a commercially viable, conflict-free supply chain for artisanal minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Tetra Tech is supporting the USAID Capacity Building For Responsible Minerals Trade (CBRMT) project to help scale-up conflict-free mineral certification and traceability systems in the region. View the video to learn more about how responsible mining is becoming a reality in DRC.

The piece originally ran on USAID’s Land Links blog.

For Armel Nganzi, his work supporting the creation of a responsible minerals trade in the DRC has always been more than just a job. “When I think of minerals, I think of a dream,” said Nganzi. “A dream of someone who wants to get out of poverty… a dream of a country that wants to develop. So when I picture a mineral, I picture a dream of the future.”

There is an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral resources in the DRC. Competition for resources such as gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten has helped fuel two decades of conflict that has claimed millions of lives. Yet, these minerals also serve as a critical source of income for millions of Congolese who dream of a better life.

This film tells the story of how USAID and its local and international partners are developing a commercially viable, conflict-free supply chain for artisanal minerals from the DRC. To achieve this vision, USAID supports the formalization of access to land and subsurface mineral resources. Serving as program manager for USAID’s CBRMT project, Tetra Tech worked to scale up conflict-free mineral certification and traceability systems in the region. We worked to strengthen the capacity of those involved at the national and regional levels and helped governments reform their legal and policy frameworks to support a responsible and economically productive artisanal mining sector.

Using a market-based approach to break the link between conflict and the gold trade, the film follows the first ever shipment of certified conflict-free gold from a mine in South Kivu to the heart of Times Square in New York City, highlighting those working along the way to transform the minerals trade.

Additional Resources:

  • Learn more about the USAID-funded CBRMT project, which helped establish and scale up responsible mineral supply chains in the DRC
  • Learn more about the first shipment of conflict-free gold from the DRC to Zales and Kay Jewelers, two of the U.S.’ largest retailers
  • Learn more about USAID’s Responsible Minerals Trade (RMT) Program
  • Check out “The Journey of Gold” a unique virtual reality experience that takes you deep inside Nyamurhale, an artisanal gold mine in the DRC. Experience how artisanal gold is produced and meet the miners who are working to produce legal, safe, and conflict-free gold
  • Learn how you can support responsible sourcing