The extraction of minerals from the subsoil depends on technologies, which range from hand held tools such as shovels and pans, over small machinery such as diesel pumps, to mechanized ball mills, excavators and cyanadation plants.

In 2021 a multidisciplinary CEGEMI team conducted research on mechanization and the introduction of new technologies in South Kivu’s artisanal and small-scale mines. In a series of working papers, available here, they addressed the impact on labour organization, productivity, environment and health, and taxation.

Photographer Robert Carrubba accompanied the team and made a series of photographs, some of which have featured in CEGEMI’s exhibition Creuseurs de rêves.

Simon Marijsse’s PhD research at the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven also traces mining technologies and techniques over time and in space. Listen to this podcast Sara Geenen and Simon Marijsse made for WISER, on Travelling technology: bog infrastructures, small devices.

We have also published a special issue on Technologies and Transformations in Congo’s artisanal and small-scale mines in the international journal The Extractive Industries and Society. The author copies in PDF can be downloaded from our publications page.