Impunity And Pollution Abound In DRC Mining Of Critical Minerals

"In the DRC’s copper belt, pollution from the mining of cobalt and copper, critical minerals for the energy transition, is on the rise and polluters are ignoring their legal obligations to clean it up.

Cases of pollution have caused deaths, health problems in babies, the destruction of crops, contaminated water and the relocation of homes or an entire village, residents and community organizations say.

Mining is the economic lifeblood of the region and the state-owned mining company, Gécamines, is a shareholder in several other companies — some accused of these same rights abuses.

Mongabay visited several villages in Lualaba province affected by pollution and human rights violations to assess the state of the unresolved damage — and whether companies are meeting their legal obligations."

This story was supported by the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Investigations Network.

Didier Makal reports for Mongabay (translated by Cait Fahy) May 14, 2024.

Source: Mongabay, 05/16/2024