Democratic Republic of Congo: Capacity Building for Responsible Minerals Trade

Completed Project
Project Countries: Democratic Republic of Congo
Thematic Issues: Artisanal and Small-scale Mining, Conflict, Economic Growth, Natural Resource Management, Women's Empowerment
Project Duration: 2014 to 2018
Approximate Funding: $14,700,000

The Capacity Building for a Responsible Minerals Trade (CBRMT) project seeks to strengthen the capacity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and regional institutions to transparently regulate the trade in conflict minerals—the 3Ts (tin, tantalum, tungsten) and gold—in order to transform the region’s minerals into economic growth and development.

CBRMT supports key actors to increase the volume of conflict-free minerals and the integrity of due diligence and traceability systems. Through increased awareness, capacity building, legal reform and implementation of responsible sourcing initiatives, the project aims to reduce local conflict over resources, and increase end-user confidence in sourcing artisanal minerals from the DRC.


  1. Legal and Policy Framework for the Artisanal Mining Sector Improved, and Support to the ICGLR and Independent Mineral Chain Auditor (IMCA)
  2. Capacity of Key Actors in Conflict-Free Minerals Supply Chains Strengthened
  3. Due Diligence and/or Traceability Systems for 3Ts and Gold Scaled Up
  4. Outreach and Communications with Key Actors

Component 1: CBRMT is developing practical recommendations related to artisanal mining as part of the reform of the DRC Mining Code.; The project also supports the office of the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor and the reform of the Regional Certification Mechanism; strengthening the financial and management systems of the International Conference for the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR); and supporting the Parternaires Technique et Financiers (PTF), a coordinating body for partners working in this area, to harmonize donor programming and information-sharing.

Component 2: CBRMT is building the capacity of mining cooperatives and civil society to establish a responsible minerals trade using a suite of tailored training modules designed to improve the management, efficiency and transparency of mineral supply chains. All training and technical assistance addresses the gender-differentiated aspects of ASM to ensure that men and women have an equal opportunity to engage with and benefit from CBRMT’s assistance. CBRMT will also address the issue of sexual and gender based violence in and around mine sites through awareness-raising about the norms, rights and risks of women face in the ASM sector. Finally, CBRMT will deliver a suite of tailored trainings to prepare communities for alternative livelihood interventions.

Component 3: A primary goal of CBRMT is to establish responsible supply chains such that international end users can purchase conflict-free tin, tungsten, and tantalum (3Ts) and gold from the DRC. To achieve this goal, CBRMT will support multiple due diligence and traceability systems. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The Initiative de Traçabilité de l’Or d’Exploitation Artisanale (ITOA), a Congolese-led initiative designed to trace artisanal gold from mine site to export.
  • Partnership Africa Canada’s “Just Gold” Model, which aims to bring legal, conflict-free and traceable gold from artisanal mine sites in the Democratic Republic of Congo to international markets. “Just Gold” is currently the only pilot project exporting responsible, conflict-free artisanal gold from the DRC that meets the criteria of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence.
  • The Better Sourcing Program’s due diligence and traceability solutions, which provides on-site monitoring, real-time reporting and management of upstream risks. BSP aims not only to improve upstream due diligence efforts, but also provide local mining communities and development partners the tools to identify and address risks in order to improve the lives of miners.

Component 4: CBRMT will support effective communications and coordination with key stakeholders in the DRC and internationally to promote a responsible minerals trade in the region—including the DRC Ministry of Mines, OECD, international civil society, private sector actors, the Responsible Artisanal Gold Solutions (RAGS) Forum and other implementing partners. In addition, CBRMT will use this extended period of performance to convey the objectives, achievements, and challenges of USAID’s Responsible Minerals Trade (RMT) portfolio.