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Environmental issues related to ASM in the Kivus
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This presentation provides an overview of the environmental issues which arise from the artisanal mining of stanniferous metals in the Kivus, in DR Congo.This presentation was given by Estelle Levin ...

This presentation provides an overview of the environmental issues which arise from the artisanal mining of stanniferous metals in the Kivus, in DR Congo.This presentation was given by Estelle Levin at the Finnwatch seminar on the makeITfair campaign in Helsinki on 21st January 2008.

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Environmental issues related to ASM in the Kivus Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Estelle Levin Minerals and Sustainability Consultant Finnwatch Helsinki Seminar 21st January 2008 © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008
  • 2. Tropical rainforest environment  Albertine Rift biozone  The Congo Basin : 1/5 of world’s remaining closed canopy  tropical forest. “the Congolese forest [is] a public good, with critical values for the global environment and for millions of forest-dependent people, who are among the poorest in the world.” CIFOR, The World Bank 2007 © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008
  • 3. Flagship and extremely endangered  species on CITES red list Eastern lowland gorilla (Gorilla  beringei graueri)  86% of population in KBNP in 1995.  Total population decline of 80% (17,000 to 3,000 individuals) between 1998 and 2001 (Redmond 2001) Bush elephant not sighted in  KBNP since 1990s. Previously 3,600. Leopard  Chimpanzees.   Orphaned chimps continue to be rescued and housed in sanctuaries in Goma and Bukavu Distribution of eastern lowland gorilla © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008 © 1998 FFI, Oryx, 32 (2), 122-130
  • 4. Huge mineral deposits:  75% DRC coltan Armed groups, Hutu  refugees and displaced people mine in the park Incapacity of ICCN (park  authorities) to adequately protect the park Collusion and direct  involvement of politicians in pillaging the park’s resources KBNP Park Rangers, 2006 © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008 © Estelle Levin
  • 5. Method and scale is determined by nature of deposit: River mining  Open cast mining of old river beds and soft rock  deposits Underground (shaft) mining of old river beds and  soft rock deposits © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008
  • 6. Clear forest 1. Remove overburden to expose 2. mineralised ore (as gravel or rock) Extract ore (using ropes, wooden 3. pulleys, sacks) Crush ore using hammers 4. Bag crushed ore and transport to 5. washing site Wash crushed ore to concentrate mineral 6. using wooden sluices Bag concentrated mineral 7. Sell concentrated mineral 8. Crushing cassiterite ore at Kalehe Photo © Estelle Levin © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008
  • 7. DEFORESTATION Timber extraction to  Build camps  Reinforce mine shafts  Make mining tools  Get firewood for warmth and  cooking in camps Forest clearance to expose gravel /  rock for mining De-barking trees to make pans for  concentrating the minerals Panning cassiterite in DRC www.congopanorama.info/news/echos-Aout2007.shtml Cutting lianas to make carrying baskets for transporting the mineral  Lack of reclamation leaves behind a damaged, unstable landscape of holes and  pits Based on Redmond, I. 2001. Coltan Boom, Gorilla Bust. The Impact of Coltan Mining on Gorillas and other Wildlife in Eastern DR Congo, May 2001. DFGFE and Born Free Foundation
  • 8. WATER and AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS Pollution and siltation of streams  by silt from washing River diversions and damage  Direct dumping of waste, tailings and effluents in waterways  Silting up of streams likely to kill invertebrates and reduce photosynthesis in aquatic plants  Reduced productivity of fish stocks in lakes and rivers affected by silt pollution  Erosion of unprotected earth during rains leading to land-slips  Long-term changes in watershed due to rapid run-off in  Photo © Estelle Levin deforested areas Based on Redmond 2001
  • 9. BIODIVERSITY Hunting of animals for meat to feed miners and camp followers  Animals maimed or dying after escaping from snares  Exposure of gorillas and chimpanzees to disease owing to sewage from  mining sites. Disturbance of animals due to  large number of people resident in and moving through forest Ecological changes due to loss of  keystone species such as elephants and apes People kill animals in ‘self-  defence’ Based on Redmond 2001 Skulls of animals found during the height of the coltan mining © Estelle Levin
  • 10. complete [EL1]Please Ongoing conflict has created unstable  environment Conflict resources  Displacement and survival  Mineral boom  Exports in value for cassiterite 2003-2006 from Southern Kivu Volume# Taxes## Value Number of Export value Price for sale Year (tons) ($) ($) exports ($) ($/Ton) 2003 2 986 4 437 788 221, 889 135 1, 486 1,411 2004 2 945 3 364 213 168, 211 52 1, 142 1,085 2005 3 416 6 213 428 310, 671 59 1, 819 1,728 2006 2 388 6 709 120 335, 456 32 2, 810 2,669 2007 (1) 1 172 3 176 840 158, 842 22 2, 711 2,575 # 4 months Source: ## total 5% of custom value INICA 2007 © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008
  • 11. The silverback, Chimanuka, with one of his offspring in the Kahuzi-Biega Natinonal Park, 2006 Photo © Estelle Levin © Estelle Levin, 21st January 2008