Impact of New Mining Technologies on Local Procurement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This case study of DRC considers what the new technologies coming down the pipeline in the mining sector will mean for local suppliers to mining operations and how the government can enhance their opportunities.

By TDi Sustainability on December 14, 2021
  • Mining in the DRC is a story of two realities: the estimated two million artisanal miners and some of the world’s most technically advanced industrial mining operations, such as the Kibali gold mine and the Kamoa-Kakula copper project.

  • Our case studies of the Kibali and Kamoa-Kakula operations suggest that local suppliers struggle to fully benefit from the increased uptake of new mining technologies by large industrial mining projects.

  • We highlight outstanding examples of successful Congolese companies supplying goods and services to technologically advanced mines in DRC. Government and other key players have important roles to play in addressing supplier obstacles, for example by helping them access capital, and improving legal and regulatory regimes.

New technologies are changing the face of mining worldwide, with fundamental implications for the number and types of jobs the mine will support, as well as for health and safety, women’s place in mining, greenhouse gas emissions, and the efficiency and viability of mining operations. IGF’s New Tech, New Deal project explored what types of technology we could expect to see, what the impacts might be, and what sorts of government policies are available to best manage the changing relationship between mines and their host countries and communities.

This case study of mining in DRC considers what new technology will mean for local procurementa major element of mining’s contribution to local communities and host countries. It argues that the government needs to help local suppliers take advantage of the opportunities presented by new technologies and avoid the risk of lost business. The study was produced to feed into the final report of the New Tech, New Deal project.