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. 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 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: big infrastructures, small devices.

In November 2021 the team organized a conference in Bukavu to communicate about the research results: see conference website and aftermovie. In February 2022 they organized a webinar: see webpage and video. And in November 2022 they organized another seminar in Antwerp, focusing on health impact: see seminar page.

Finally, the team published a series of papers in French and in English, in which they addressed the impact of technological transformations on labour organization, productivity, environment, health, and taxation. Seven working papers (in French) are available here. The English articles were published in a special issue in the international journal The Extractive Industries and Society. The author copies in PDF can be downloaded from the publications page. A summary in Sawhili can be downloaded here. Geenen et al 2021_Résumés en Swahili.

The team also made a photo essay accompanying these publications, which you can watch here in the video or the gallery: