KINSHASA – Illegal miners will be removed from the site of a Glencore project in the Democratic Republic of Congo where at least 43 died this week, Interior Minister Basile Olongo told reporters from the mine on Saturday.
“From tomorrow, if you come back here, you won’t see any more thieves”, he said from the Kamoto copper and cobalt mine in Kolwezi, in southeastern Congo. “We will take measures to evacuate everyone.”
“It’s sad, it’s true. We have lost our compatriots. But which compatriots? We have lost thieves which came to rob the ore.”
Glencore estimates that 2 000 unauthorised people enter its open-pit mine on average every day. On Thursday, dozens were killed in a landslide. As of Friday, 43 bodies had been recovered, according to local officials.