This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
00:02:31 1 History
00:02:52 1.1 Mass scale looting, 1998
00:04:28 1.2 Mining resumes, 2001- present
00:09:22 1.3 IMF loan for debt relief, 2009-2012
00:12:02 2 Foreign involvement
00:13:53 2.1 Canada
00:20:08 3 Impacts of natural resource extraction on the DRC
00:20:19 3.1 Environmental impacts
00:22:24 3.2 Socio-cultural repercussions
00:25:40 3.3 Environmental and occupational health
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Speaking Rate: 0.824888308052666
Voice name: en-AU-Wavenet-D
"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."
The Mining industry of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a significant factor in the world's production of cobalt, copper, diamond, tantalum, tin, and gold. It is the Democratic Republic of the Congo's largest source of export income. In 2009, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, including the world's largest reserves of coltan and significant quantities of the world's cobalt.
The United States Geological Survey estimates that the DRC has 1 million tons of lithium resources.During the Second Congo War mass-scale looting of mineral assets by all combattant forces—Congolese, Rwandan, Ugandan and foreign civilians—took place. The small artisanal mining operations the fighters were robbing sometimes shut down afterwards and larger foreign businesses reduced operations as well. Following the peace accord in 2003, the focus returned to mining. Rebel groups supplied international corporations through unregulated mining by soldiers, locals organized by military commanders and by foreign nationals. The political framework was unstable. In 2009 the DRC signed a loan contract with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $12 billion of debt relief in 2010. The loan included trade conditions, such as liberalization of the diamond trade. At the end of 2012 the IMF suspended the last payments, because of a lack of transparency in the DRC's process for awarding mining contracts. The mining sector has since expanded, but commodity prices have declined and this has hampered the DRC's progress.
Much mining has been done in small artisanal mining operations, sometimes known as Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM). These small-scale mines are unregulated, with high levels of child labor and workplace injury. They can occur within protected areas, and around endangered or threatened species. As of 2008 many ASM operations existed for minerals such as coltan. ASM operations employ a significant portion of the DRC's population; estimates range up to one fifth of the population, or 12.5 million people. Problems stemming from artisanal mining include disruption of families, mining-related illnesses, environmental damage, child labor, prostitution and rape.