From Extraction to Final Product: Following the Artisanal Gold Production Network in the Eastern DR Congo

Robert Carrubba (Photographer), Ben Radley (Producer)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


After agriculture, artisanal mining is the most important livelihood in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). As a result of government policy, war and demographic pressures, tens of thousands of rural Congolese families have experienced a long-term decline in their on-farm subsistence capacity. Artisanal mining has provided an important source of off-farm employment and income for these families, despite the inherent dangers of the work. Between 2013 and 2015, the International Peace Information Service (IPIS) visited 1,615 artisanal mines across the region, recording the presence of 239,700 miners. Around 80 percent of these miners were working in gold mines, and around two-thirds were working in mines affected by the presence of the national army or a non-state armed group. Often, armed groups levy a tax or demand tribute in return for ‘protection’. While a lot of attention has been paid in recent years to the links between artisanal mining and conflict in the eastern DRC, less is known about the labour and production process itself. This photo story documents this process, following gold from the point of extraction at a rural artisanal gold mine in South Kivu Province, through processing and trade, to its transformation into a final product in the provincial capital Bukavu.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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