It turned out the Zairian government told the contractors to divert the power line away from Goma and connect it to the Lueshe mining site instead.
Albers personally acquired majority control over the Lueshe mine in when one of the German firms he worked for, GfE Metalle und Materialien GmbH, gave him their shares in the project. However, Mr. Albers was able to continue mining on the property by dealing directly with the RCD's parallel government administration that was inaugurated in with the help of the Rwandan Government. The RCD was interested in doing business with Mr. Albers because he was the largest coltan trader in Goma at the time and he had virtually unlimited access to the Rwandan export market, which meant money for the rebel administration's war expenses.
The RCD moved their illegally-mined coltan from the Congo through his business networks to refine and export the ore while laundering the profits.
War and Commerce: Blood on Your Phone? Unlikely It's 'Conflict Coltan'
Albers business partners was Dr. The Lueshe mine officially reopened in early Krall sent a team to scout the Lueshe site in early The workers retreated to Goma, where they were promptly arrested by RCD immigration officers. Albers, who was living in Kigali at the time, was informed of the arrest.
He reportedly ordered the officers to kill all the members of the delegation. The workers were later contacted by ANC soldiers who said they would allow Edith Krall to mine the land, but only if the company purchased weapons for them. Krall has been in a legal battle for Lueshe ever since. Albers enjoyed a virtual monopoly over coltan exportation.
Starck, a huge mineral processing company owned by The Bayer Group A. Albers United Nations U.
AKH completed numerous lab assays of pyrochlore shipments for Mr. Albers from and was a re-exporter of cassiterite and coltan.
The only pyrochlore in the area is found in the Lueshe mine, so it is extremely unlikely AKH could not have known were the minerals they tested were coming from. NMC Metallurgy acquired the Karuruma smelting plant from the Rwandan Government as part of Rwanda's mass privatization plan to attract foreign investors and generate more income for the Rwandan war "efforts" in the Congo.
Manual A Paean
Albers in exchange for the ability to process the pyrochlore he mined from Lueshe. Makabuza likely used in conjunction with the cassiterite purchasing store he owns. She also forged the certificate of authenticity to hide the fact that the minerals were smuggled from the Congo. The operation apparently had the blessing of Germany's Foreign Ministry until at least The capital from these sales provided the RCD and the Rwandan Government with income they could use for military spending to prolong the war of occupation.
Albers business empire was crumbling, she personally visited the mine with Modeste and Alexis Makabuza.
Library of Congress
She announced to the Congolese locals working there that the mine was now the property of the German Republic and she ordered them to continue working without pay under the command of the RPA. Albers was Dr. He reportedly told a Rwandan officer to execute any Krall associates who tried to gain access to the mine.
The officer refused to carry out his orders and instead told the police. The general prosecutor of North Kivu asked Dr. Wontka to come to Goma and provide proof of GfE's right to mine Lueshe. Wontka was arrested at the border trying to flee to Rwanda. He was arrested and GfE's mineral stores in Goma were impounded. Doretta Loschelder, the German Ambassador to Congo, promptly announced Germany would withdraw all its investments in the Congo unless Dr. Wontka was released. The Minister of Justice caved in and set him free. He immediately fled to Rwanda.
Albers filed for bankruptcy and was put under house arrest in Goma. Boillot was an administrator for NMC. Albers delegated control of the remainder of his firms and then fled Kigali for Germany in Koenig visited Lueshe, Rwanda made their move to obtain physical control over the mining sites in Walikale Territory and Lueshe. A number of these soldiers were moved down from North Kivu. They then proceeded to export minerals from these mining sites back to Rwanda on cargo flights and by land. General Nkundabatware continued to utilize the former employee housing units as a rear base and the mine itself as an income source for his men since at least January , when his men were first spotted guarding the mine.
General Nkundabatware eventually lost control of the mines in Walikale Territory, but he was able to retain control over Lueshe. The U.
Its headquarters is located in the town of Kitchanga in Masisi Territory. Kitchanga has a pyrochlore and niobium processing factory which can be used to refine minerals extracted from the Lueshe mine. Since Lueshe is in rebel-controlled territory, and the Lueshe mine is officially closed, any potential buyer of the pyrochlore would have serious legal and ethical issues to answer for if they actually bought it. Therefore, if Rwanda is exporting it, serious concerns should be raised because Rwanda does not have an internal source of pyrochlore.
Moreover, pyrochlore can be chemically examined and matched to the mineral composition trends of Lueshe ore, thereby identifying it origin. But only a new tracking test could prove it. It sounded like a compelling story.
During a visit to South Africa in October, I saw a news report in which a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo described in wrenching terms how demand for a metal used in consumer electronics is fueling a new outbreak of bloodshed in the mineral-rich region. REUTERS Although Congolese rebels have been known to mine and sell Coltan, a mineral used in mobile phones, most consumers are unlikely to own phones that contain any minerals from the Congo.
In fact, the story demonstrates how difficult it is for companies to be socially responsible even if they try. The mineral in question is known as coltan, which is actually African slang for ore that contains tantalum, a metal prized for electronics use because of its resistance to corrosion and heat.
Prof. Dr. Dennis Dijkzeul
In fact, mobile phones do contain tantalum, as do a host of other products, including MP3 players, gaming consoles, and even aircraft engines. A typical Nokia handset has a tantalum capacitor, a component that temporarily stores electrical charges, according to the Finnish handset maker.
Found in If you live in a lawless corner of the Congo, coltan might seem like an attractive business, at least compared to subsistence farming. The ore lends itself to so-called artisanal mining: Local people can dig it up and concentrate it using homemade sluices, similar to how California pioneers panned for gold. Guerilla factions in the Congo, as well as their government backers in countries such as Rwanda or Uganda, make money by controlling the coltan mines directly or by extracting payoffs from small-scale miners and dealers.
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The coltan trade was even lucrative enough to attract the international arms mafia. According to a UN report, one coltan smuggler was Viktor Bout, a notorious former KGB agent now being held in a Thai jail as he fights extradition to the US on charges he supplied weapons to terrorist groups. Bout used a fleet of cargo planes to haul loads of illegally mined coltan and other minerals from the Congo to foreign buyers, according to the UN. But does that mean your mobile phone is helping General Laurent Nkunda -- whose ethnic Tutsi militia recently overran swaths of eastern Congo -- buy AKs and land mines?
That would be a stretch. As it happens, the Congo is not a major source of tantalum. The US Geological Survey groups the Congo under "other" tantalum sources that together account for just 2 percent of world production. Recycled tantalum also is available.
Even tantalum from the Congo isn't necessarily tainted: Foreign and domestic companies mine it legally in some areas, providing an important source of livelihood. In addition, the earlier tantalum controversy inspired companies to take steps to ensure their metal comes from legitimate sources. German metals company H. Starck, which buys ore and refines it into tantalum powder for industrial use, says it gets most of its raw material from Australia and none from Africa.