Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) ranks among the richest countries in the world in mineral wealth, estimated at $24 Trillion, and yet also among the poorest populations of the world. Informal artisanal and small-scale extraction is pervasive and attracts illicit actors that perpetuate instability and conflict in communities. Through strengthening legal markets, USAID’s Responsible Minerals Trade IRMT) program works to break the link between conflict in the eastern DRC and minerals trade, in coordination with other U.S. government agencies, the Congolese government, donors, the private sector, and civil society. U.S. Dodd-Frank legislation requires companies to report on the presence of conflict minerals (tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold) in their supply chains. USAID programs have focused primarily on: 1) supporting the revised DRC Mining Code including the qualification and validation of mine sites to ensure they are free of violations prior to development, and 2) to stimulate market-based solutions to trace minerals from the mine site to the final buyer. USAID investments in minerals programs have focused principally on tin, tantalum and tungsten, known as ‘3T’. The illicit gold trade, estimated at over one billion dollars annually, exacerbates armed conflict and deprives DRC of vital tax revenue. To combat the illicit trade, USAID is currently focused on responsible gold sourcing by facilitating private sector transactions and by strengthening the capacity of the DRC government and civil society to monitor adherence to national and international standards.


Global Communities, Levin Sources, RCS Global, Better Chain

December 2018 - 2023; $11,999,691

USAID seeks to scale-up exports and sales of conflict-free, artisanal and small-scale gold from eastern DRC by developing market linkages between mining cooperatives and responsible gold supply chain actors.

Activities address barriers throughout the artisanal gold supply chain by: 1) increasing demand and co- investment, 2) increasing the volume of exports through strengthening the capacity of upstream and midstream supply chain actors to adhere to due diligence and gold traceability standards, and 3) improving the commercial viability of gold cooperatives through targeted training to improve business operations and governance.


Pact, Save Act Mine, Children’s Voice, BEPAT, SOFEDI

December 2018 - 2022; $3,700,229

USAID strengthens current methods to validate mine site conflict-free in order to responsibly export artisanal gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten. The approach promotes rigorous and transparent traceability of minerals through security analysis, continuous community-level monitoring of mine sites, and capacity building of DRC Ministry of Mines personnel. Specific outputs include the qualification of 400 mine sites in North and South Kivu, training for government mine inspectors and establishment of community monitoring committees with the assistance of the Bureau d’Elaboration des Projets et d’Application Technique (BEPAT), raising awareness of Local Monitoring Committee members, and developing guidance and tools on how to fight against the Worst Forms of Child Labor with Children’s Voice, providing technical support to raise awareness about sexual and gender-based violence as well as the role of women in mining with Solidarité des Femmes pour le Développement Intégral (SOFEDI), and whistleblowing hotlines for violations observed locally with Save Act Mine.


Tetra Tech, Resolve

August 2020 - 2022; $405,206

The Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA) is a ten-year old public-private partnership hosted by USAID, Department of State, and Department of Labor and also sustained through membership from civil society, the private sector, and academia to support conflict-free mineral supply chains from the Great Lakes Region. The PPA facilitates dialogue among international and regional actors to harmonize responsible sourcing efforts. The PPA finances pilot projects to develop due diligence and other tools, including a project promoting mobile access to finance for artisanal mining.


Tetra Tech, International Peace and Information Service (IPIS)

June 2021 - June 2023; $800,000

The objective of this activity is to obtain and publish up-to-date information on mining and armed group or criminal involvement in the minerals sector in the Eastern DRC, thereby enabling supply chain actors and policymakers to make informed decisions based on the latest field realities. Research will focus on the dynamics around mineral supply chains and conflict financing, including transnational organized crime and armed groups. The project will update the map of artisanal mine sites in eastern DRC, notably Ituri, Tshopo, Haut-Uele, North and South Kivu, Maniema, and Tanganyika provinces.


Adam Smith International, Global Communities, African Parks Network, Barrick Gold

January 2022 - 2027; $7,702,376 (*funding supports alternatives to mining, and not to mining activities)

Through USAID’s Health, Ecosystems and Agriculture for Resilient, Thriving Societies (HEARTH) initiative, USAID partners with the private sector to promote transformational solutions to cross-sectoral development challenges in biodiverse landscapes. In Haut-Uele province, USAID works with a broad alliance of public and private institutions, including anchor partnerships with Garamba National Park and Kibali Gold Mine. Illegal artisanal mining, logging and slash-and-burn agriculture are among the major threats to Garamba. The Garamba Alliance will build sustainable markets by providing alternatives to illegal mining and other threats through support to sustainable agricultural enterprise, vocational education, access to finance, and biodiversity conservation. The activity coordinates with the USAID Clean Gold project to strengthen legal artisanal and small-scale mining cooperatives to improve business practices and increase the production of responsibly sourced gold.


Mercy Corps, Alliance for Responsible Mining, Fair Congo Foundation, IPIS, HIVE

August 2021 - 2026; $39,487,738

This activity builds inclusive dialogue processes, conflict early warning systems, and alternatives to violence; fosters accountable, trusted, citizen-responsive institutions; and creates economic alternatives to armed violence that promote stability, inter-ethnic cooperation, and social cohesion. To help break mining- related violence dynamics and to provide alternatives to illicit mining, P-DEC will support artisanal and small-scale miners through piloting social and environmental risk-mitigation and market readiness to legally and responsibly produce and sell minerals.


DAI, CrossBoundary

2022 - 2027; $750,000 (initial seed funding)

In partnership with Prosper Africa, the purpose of this activity is to mobilize trade and investment support surrounding good governance and mining in the DRC to deliver mutual benefits between the U.S. and the DRC. Partnerships with American companies respond to DRC’s goals to better integrate their economy into global supply chains and allow local companies to add more value, create better jobs, and strengthen the business enabling environment. The activity aims to increase investment facilitation and transaction support, improve advocacy for U.S. businesses and increase mining investments that promote and sustain environmental, social and governance standards.


Search for Common Ground

2022 - 2023; $207,000

This rapid response activity is designed to support DRC’s adoption of the Voluntary Principles on security and human rights specifically by strengthening the participation and leadership of civil society organizations in the national implementation of the Voluntary Principles. Congolese civil society organizations have an acute sense of the realities of mining sites and adjacent communities, and are well placed to monitor on- ground developments, conduct evidence-based research, and provide actionable recommendations for successful implementation of the Voluntary Principles.


Development Alternatives, Inc.

January 2017- 2023; $45,606,095

Strengthens key governance institutions to improve the delivery of public services at the community level and supports the social contract between citizens and the government. With respect to the mining sector, the activity bolsters partnerships between mining companies and local governments (Decentralized Territorial Entities (ETDs)), builds local governments’ capacity, especially in financial management, for good governance of mining revenues, and increases local communities’ participation in local development planning. The main outputs in RMT are: assisting ten ETDs develop financial management capacity, local development plans, and participatory budget processes; assisting civil society and local communities participate in the development of inclusive plans to spend mining revenues and the monitoring of expenditures; developing a Mining Royalty Management Guide, a guidebook for local mining revenue management for provincial and national adoption; establishing partnerships with private mine operators, including Alphamin Bisie Mining (tin) and Barrick Gold Corporation; conducting an organizational audit of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative’s (EITI) National Secretariat to support its 2021-2023 work plan; and supporting the national EITI Secretariat convene Ministries and civil society stakeholders to review legislation and guidelines to standardize and improve the transparent distribution and management of mining royalties.

 Responsible Minerals Trade Photo