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25 Mar 2024

Didier Makal, Latoya Abulu (Mongabay)

DRC: Alphamin Bisie Mining SA allegedly ignoring FPIC principles to the detriment of forest-dependent communities, incl. co. comment

" Under the shadow of war in the DRC, a mining company’s actions face impunity" 25 March 2024

Land grabbing, lack of consultation, communities wiped off maps, and impunity. These are the serious accusations made against the mining company Alphamin Bisie Mining SA by the Indigenous communities of Banamwesi and Motondo, which oversee community forest concessions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Years of complaints by these communities and civil society organizations have been met with no reaction from provincial government officials or the mining company. Alphamin Bisie, which runs a tin mine neighboring the communities, has not responded to them and does not recognize them as affected. In light of the conflict devastating the eastern DRC, the Indigenous inhabitants say the conflict is being used as a cover for the irregular activities taking place around them.

“They are continuing to claim their rights because the [company’s] land occupation did not comply with the normal process,” said Fiston Misona, a leading member of civil society in Walikale, in a call with Mongabay.

Despite Mongabay’s inquiries, the administrative authorities did not respond to requests for information and documentation on activities at the Bisie tin deposit. After nearly a year of attempts to reach the mining company, Alphamin Bisie finally responded to explain their position and deny the communities as the landowners. But answers did not put to rest allegations and findings that irregular activities are taking place. Following multiple attempts to contact the company over the last year, the director of Alphamin finally got back to Mongabay after we contacted their consultation agency. Following our questions about the state of their permits and consultation with nearby communities, the director said he will ask the community development team to contact the representatives of Banamwesi and Motondo to “explain these matters.”