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Marcel Stechert

on 18 October 2013

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photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli

Coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo

1. The history of the DRC
2. Columbite Tantalite - Coltan
3. Bisie - The biggest illegal mine in Congo
4. Conclusion
5. Question for discussion
6. Sources
1. History of the Democratic Republic of Congo
2. Columbite Tantalite - Coltan
3. Bisie - The bigges illegal mine in Congo
4. Conclusion
5. Question for discussion
- 1908 - 1962
colonial domination
of Belgium over DRC, Rwanda and Burundi

- 1934/35
of people in Rwanda and Burundi -> 2 ethnic groups: "Hutu" & "Tutsi"

- Tutsi: >10 cows
Hutu: <10 cows (majority)

- reason: Belgium needed an "elite" class to control the rest of the citizens

- conflicts between Hutu and Tutsi -> after 1962 heavy violent fights

"Genocide of Rwanda"
- 1994 Hutu murdered Tutsi

- in 100 days they killed 800.000 people

- even killed people of their own ethnic group

was ended by a rebel group of Rwanda (RPF)

- after that Hutu flew into the East of Democratic Republic of Congo
What is Coltan?
- Columbite Tantalite (short: Coltan)

- Coltan is a mineral

- Coltan -> Tantalum (metal)
What is Coltan used for?

- mobile phones
- laptop computers
- jet engines
- rockets
- cutting tools
- camera lenses
- x-ray film
- ink jet printers
- hearing aids
- airbag protection systems
- PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo
- video cameras
Why is Coltan a "conflict mineral"?
- armed groups use Coltan to finance their bloody wars

- occupy streets where mine workers come along -> taxes

- control borders of the smuggling routes -> taxes

- control mines ->
of the mine workers

- rebels smuggle Coltan to larger Cities in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya -> sell it to european, asian, american Coltan Trading Companies

- H.C. Starck GmbH (
of Bayer until 2006) is the biggest Trading/Processing Company for Coltan worldwide -> United Nations call for import ban for Coltan from Congo
Top 5 Things You Can Do To Limit Your Coltan Footprint:

1. Use your electronics for as long as they serve your purpose. Do not upgrade purely for fashion.
2. Buy refurbished and used products when ever possible.
3. Sell or give away goods you no longer need. Do not throw things away that could be used by someone else.
4. Share and use sharing sites. Share infrequently used items with family and friends.
5. Stop buying things you don’t need.

Is the Exploitation of the country and the people in the Democratic Republic of Congo that what we call "globalization" or is it just a modern art of slavery in the 21st century?
Blood in our mobiles -
6. Sources
- Blutige Handys - Die unmenschliche Coltangewinnung (Trailer)

- Kongos verfluchter Schatz - Die unmenschliche Colatan-Gewinnung

- Conflict Minerals 101

-Blood Coltan

- http://bloodinthemobile.org/

- http://elevatedconsciousness.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/the-coltan-crisis/

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Congo_War
Maybe you can also think about following aspects:
- Whats about the social responsibility of the companies?
- Do you feel responsible as a customer?
- Where are the differences between the slavery in the 19th century and the situation in the DRC?
Thank you for your attention!
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