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Updated: DRC's deterioration of consternation increases the concern of critical minerals

Update: Official results of the election will not go until January 15, but the allegedly chaotic day for voting and the possibility of a controversial outcome is causing fears of major unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Incorrect voting devices, voter lists and at least three violent deaths occurred on December 30, reported by Thomson Reuters. Rationalized by the outbreak of ebola in the northeast and violence in the western city, around 1.25 million citizens had the delayed voting option until March, months after the new president assumed office.

Flooding would make the government easier to vote, Globe and Mail said. "Any controversial outcome could lead to a repeat of violence following the 2006 and 2011 elections and a wider security breach, especially at the border with the Congo with Ruanda, Uganda and Burundi, where dozens of armed militias are active."

It's still coming.

Greg Klein | 28 December 2018

Another postponement of late elections may only exacerbate the humanitarian situation of the Democratic Republic of Congo. For the West who are far from dangerous, the conflict also highlights the insecure nature of critical minerals needed by modern society.

The deterioration 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 country usually chooses governments through state strikes, rebellions or false choices. The current president Joseph Kabila has ruled unchallenged since December 2016 when his mandate is over. With delay, he scheduled elections for December 23, then returned for a week, citing the destruction of ballot papers in a fire in the warehouse. The government announced on December 26 that the vote in the northeastern region will be postponed until March.

An additional delay caused violent protests in a month that had already suffered more than a hundred deaths in ethnic warfare, as well as the battles between police and protesters.

The government has blamed for the last postponement of the epidemic of ebola in the northeastern region, the second worst epidemic in history, the DRC, which is the tenth since 1976, and the second country this year. The previous epidemic, which killed dozens in the western central part of Equateur, officially ended in July. Confidence in the excuse for the latest postponement of the vote did not help the fact that the ministry of health officially recognized the current epidemic on August 1st.

Responsible for the hundreds of deaths that have occurred so far, this epidemic is happening in the midst of violence directed at humanitarian workers and the local population. As in other parts of the country, the region has dozens of military groups struggling against government control forces, and each other over ethnic rivalry and natural resources. Natural resources can be mined, often forced labor, to fund more bloods.

In 2017, DRC supplied around 58% of world cobalt, 34.5% tin and 28.5% tantalums, reports US Geological Survey. And critical metal and metal with conflicts, DRC tantalum is a particularly troubling example of the often unknown sources of its offer. Neighboring Rwanda, another source of conflict that has been destroyed by minerals, has delivered 30% of the world's supply of tantalum in 2017.

It is unacceptable that Katanga does not reveal the risks associated with the nature and extent of her reliance on Gertler's associates. Investors can not give anything less than accurate and truthful disclosure.– Jeff Kehoe,
Executive Director,
Ontario Securities Commission

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

OSC said Katanga seriously overcame copper production and inventory, and also did not reveal the material risk of corruption in DRC, including "the nature and scope of Katanga's reliance on individuals and entities associated with Dan Gertler, Gertler's close relationship with Joseph Kabil, the president DRC, and allegations of Gertler's possible involvement in corrupt activities in DRC. "

As a member of the prominent Israeli family of diamond dealers, Gertler has said it acts as an intermediary between Kabile and the mining companies operating in DRC. Kabila and his family have interests in more than 80 companies and companies, according to a research by the Congo Research Group in New York in 2017 and Pulitzer's Crisis Reporting Center.

It's still coming.

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

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