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Updated: DRC instability worsens the problem of critical minerals

Update: Official results of the election will not come until January 15, but allegedly a chaotic day of voting and the possibility of controversial outbreaks arouse fears of major unrest in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Incorrect voting machines, missing polling stations and at least three violent deaths occurred on December 30, Thomson Reuters reported. Rationalized by the eruption of ebola in the northeast and violence in the western city, some 1.25 million citizens had a delayed vote by March, months after the new president took office.

The turmoil could make it easier for the government to organize a vote, Globe and Mail announced. "Any controversial outcome could lead to a repetition of violence that followed the 2006 and 2011 elections and a wider security breakdown, especially along the border with Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi, where they are active in dozens of armed militias."

There will be more.

would Greg Klein | December 28, 2018

Another delay for already late elections can only exacerbate the humanitarian situation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. For Westerners who are distant from danger, the conflict also highlights the uncertain nature of the critical minerals necessary for modern society.

The worsening of DRC instability increases the concern of critical minerals

(Map: US Central Intelligence Agency)

Rich in copper, gold and diamonds, as well as critical metals, including cobalt, tin, tantalum, and niobium, the land usually chooses governments through a coup, rebellion or false choices. The current president, Joseph Kabila, has been unconstitutional since December 2016, when his term was terminated. He delayed the elections for December 23 late, and then returned it in a week, calling for the destruction of ballots in a fire in the warehouse. On December 26, the government announced that the vote in the north-eastern region would be postponed until March.

An additional postponement has triggered violent protests in a month that have already witnessed hundreds of deaths in the ethnic war, as well as fighting between police and demonstrators.

The government blamed its latest delay in the ebola epidemic in the northeast region, the second-largest epidemic in history, the DRC, the tenth of 1976, and the second in this year. A previous epidemic, which killed dozens in the west-central province of Ecuateur, officially ended in July. Confidence in the excuse for the latest postponement of the vote was not helped by the fact that the Ministry of Health officially acknowledged the current epidemic on August 1st.

Responsible for hundreds of deaths so far, this epidemic occurs in the midst of violence directed at humanitarian workers and the local population. Like other parts of the country, there are dozens of military groups fighting against the government's control forces and one after another over ethnic rivalry and natural resources. Natural resources can be mined, often with forced labor, in order to finance more bloodshed.

In 2017, DRC supplied about 58% of world cobalt, 34.5% tin and 28.5% of tantalum, according to US Geological Surveys. Both critical and conflicting metals, the DRC tantalum is a particularly troubling example of the often unknown origin of its supply. Neighboring Rwanda, another source of conflict minerals, has delivered 30% of the global supply of tantalum from 2017.

Katanga's lack of disclosure of risks related to nature and the extent of its reliance on Gertler Associates is unacceptable. Investors can not be given anything less than an accurate and true publication.-Jeff Kehoe,
Director of Execution,
Securities Commission in Ontario

Some of the major companies operating in the DRC have failed to rise above the country's endemic problems. In mid-December Glencore's subsidiary Katanga Mining TSKS: KAT and its officials agreed to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission in Ontario a settlement, penalties and charges totaling $ 36.25 million for a series of offenses between 2012 and 2017 .

The OSC said that Katanga seriously exaggerated copper production and supplies, and also did not disclose the material risk of corruption in the DRC, including "the nature and extent of Katana's reliance on individuals and entities associated with Dan Gertler, Gertler's close relationship with Joseph Kabil, President DRC, and claims about the possible participation of Gertler in corrupt activities in the DRC. " T

As a member of the prominent Israeli family of diamond dealers, Gertler said he acts as an agent between Kabila and mining companies operating in the DRC. Kabila and his family have interests in more than 80 companies and businesses, according to research by the University of New York Congress Group for 2017 and the Pulitzer Crisis Reporting Center.

There will be more.

This article was published by Greg Klein – Resource Clips on Monday, December 31, 2018 at 9:03 AM.

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