Thursday, 16 August 2012

Mining in the DRC: unsafe vs. unfair

The DRC is a complicated country. The complicated mineral wealth doesn't help. It also presents a development dilemma when it comes to mining.

Which is better for the people of the country: artisanal mining which keeps the money (mostly) in the hands of the BoP and has a very low barrier to entry or high-tech, capital-heavy mining that may create jobs but will be owned by (let's face it, foreign) companies and/or government that people don't necessarily trust?

The raises important ethical questions in terms of the role and involvement of foreign companies, individuals, governments and INGOs. Beyond the theoretical, however, there are some awful, practical realities that probably warrant consideration, like this story of a cave-in in the east where more than 60 people died.

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