Artisanal mining is common in DR Congo as people do it as a means to make a living

DR Congo Copper Miners killed in Kolwezi

ADDIS ABABA – At least 36 people have been killed after a copper and cobalt mine collapsed in Lualaba province in south-east DR Congo, authorities say.

The provincial governor Richard Muyej blamed the accident on what he called “clandestine artisanal diggers”.

Unofficial mining is common in the region and people do it as a means to make a living.

Mines in southern DR Congo produce more than half of the world’s cobalt – a key component in mobile phone batteries.

Prices for it more than doubled last year thanks to increased demand for electric cars, which also use the mineral in their batteries.

The accident happened on Thursday at the Kamoto Copper Company, a subsidiary of Swiss mining giant Glencore, based near Lualaba’s main city of Kolwezi. – BBC

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