Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 02/2012

Controlling conflict resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Ruben de Koning

July 2010

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute


The political economy of mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is central to sustaining the conflict in the east of the country. Transforming it is a priority in order to alleviate the conflict and suffering that it fuels. In an attempt to ensure that conflict minerals— minerals sourced from militia-controlled mines—do not enter the legal supply chain, industrial actors, the Congolese Government and outside donors have established schemes to trace minerals such as cassiterite and coltan back to the mines of origin.