Dispossession, displacement and resistance : artisanal miners in a gold concession in South-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo
Institute of Development Policy and Management
Resources policy / International Editorial Board. - Guildford
, p. 90-99
University of Antwerp
This article reports on an empirical study of the relationship between artisanal and industrial mining at the Twangiza gold concession in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The setting is a post-conflict context where artisanal mining activities have supported livelihoods for several decades, but where the arrival of a multinational company, with explicit backing from the national government, has caused dispossession and displacement and altered local power relations, leaving former artisanal miners with few alternatives for making a living. Although Congolese law recognizes artisanal mining and policies have been proposed to formalize and support this sector, reality is often very different and artisanal miners frequently clash with industrial enterprises. This article argues that, in order to understand the dynamics underlying these clashes, closer attention needs to be paid to the practices and discourses of the artisanal miners themselves: how do they conceptualize notions such as property, legitimacy and livelihood, and what is their outlook on development? The empirical analysis shows how miners in Twangiza resist dispossession by the multinational corporation in both words and actions. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.