[HOT] Locations of Artisinal Mining Sites in the DRC?

Robert Banick rbanick at gmail.com
Mon Aug 24 04:46:58 UTC 2015

Hi Ray,

I don’t work on conflict sites or mining certification, so take what I’m about to say with a grain of salt. I do however work in international aid so I have some perspective on how these projects work in general.

The 140 number is probably compiled by specialized reporting staff whose job it is to extract and verify these numbers from specialized program management staff. Note that the latter will be prioritizing making the project work while the former will prioritize making the numbers correct and verifiable. Which means that the list exists but it’s probably buried on the project manager’s hard drive somewhere in the DRC or with luck at headquarters and could only be dug up with difficulty.

That’s the (over-?)simplified version of How Things Tend To Work. It could be different on this project or in the mining certification sector.

If the process sounds not at all ideal, trust me, many many people are away of this and trying to do better. Aid reporting is a really tricky compromise between not holding back program staff from doing good work with reporting red tape and getting the donating public information they deserve. In my experience very few agencies find a balance that everyone’s happy with. If that sounds like so many excuses, keep in mind that many developed world governments have only recently started to publicly release similar information for taxpayer funded projects despite tax revenues that go into the hundreds of billions or even trillions.

I hope this clarifies things for you. Coming from the world of open-everything I couldn’t agree more that it would be great to have this information somewhere easily accessible.



Sent from Mailbox

On Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 9:50 AM, Ray Kiddy <ray at ganymede.org> wrote:

> I was reading a report on conflict minerals.
> http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/672051.pdf
> It pointed to an USAID document about mining in the Great Lakes region
> of Africa.
> https://www.usaid.gov/democratic-republic-congo/fact-sheets/usaiddrc-fact-sheet-responsible-minerals-trade
> This contained the following statement about mining sites in the DRC:
>     140 artisanal mine sites have been validated as free
>     from child labor and illegal taxation.
> Whenever I see statements like this, I always wonder about them. For
> example, where are these 140 sites? How are these sites identified? It
> sounds as though they went through a list of the sites, or that such a
> list of sites exists. And it sounds as though they marked the sites
> "yes" or "no". Where is that list? If that list did not exist before,
> they would at least have to have a list of the 140 sites now. They
> certainly do not seem to be publishing that or any other list. They are
> just waving the number "140" around.
> So, does anyone have any idea how one would find the locations of any
> of these sites, the compliant or non-compliant sites?
> I submitted the question to the USAID web site, but I think the site
> swallowed the question. I entered the question and hit the submit
> button and it gave me the blank form again. Which seems wrong. And I
> have not heard from them.
> So, any ideas or suggestions?
> thanx - ray
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