DRС Stops Luxembourg Firm's Copper Mining Ops Due to Waste Leaks
17:14 03.06.2023 (Updated: 17:54 03.06.2023)
Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is an international group of companies in the field of mining and processing of mineral resources from Luxembourg. In 2009, ERG purchased Boss Mining, which produces copper cathode and cobalt concentrate. In 2019, Boss Mining's work was put on upkeep as technical and exploratory work on its facilities began.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has stopped ERG's Boss Mining copper and cobalt endeavor, citing concerns over the environment after floods in March discharged mine debris into a river and surrounding town.
"For some time now, there have been more and more incidents in mining areas relating to the overflow of effluents and the destruction of dikes causing significant damage to the environment," Congo's Mining Minister N'Samba Kalambayi outlined. "Such was recently the case at the Boss Mining installations."
The minister informed Boss Mining in a letter mandating the shutdown from May 29, that the "enormous environmental damage" might have been prevented or minimized if the firm had revised its environmental management strategy when it relaunched.
She also informed the Senate commission that the mining company must update its social and environmental impact assessments before it can restart operations or risk additional stoppage.
Roughly 3,600 tons of cobalt hydroxide and 21,600 tons of copper are expected to be produced annually on average by the project, reports say.
According to comments the ministry provided to a Senate inquiry earlier this week, Kalambayi stopped the project for at least three months and ordered an investigation into potential compensation for the damage. After more than three years of upkeep, ERG relaunched
the project last November.
At a time when output is increasing, the stoppage is an indication of tense ties between copper miners and the Congolese government. Despite the operation's small scale, the suspension, according to the minister, illustrates the country's efforts to hold miners responsible for environmental harm.