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23 Feb 2022


DRC: Court orders Panda International Congo Engineering to compensate worker injured at cobalt & copper mine

"DR Congo court issues rare decision in favour of injured worker at cobalt mine"

The High Court in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of Congo, has issued a landmark decision ordering Panda International Congo Engineering to pay full healthcare costs and lost wages to a Congolese worker injured at China Molybdenum’s Kisanfu cobalt and copper mine. Panda is a subcontracting company providing engineering, mechanical and other services. The legal victory is one of the first instances a Congolese worker at an industrial mine site has successfully sued an employer for injuries sustained at work. It sets an important new precedent for workers’ rights.

The Kisanfu mine is said to be one of the world’s largest, highest-grade, undeveloped cobalt and copper projects. In 2021, electric vehicle battery manufacturer, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), bought a stake in the mine via one of its subsidiaries for $137 million...

The Congolese Labour Code stipulates that when an injury occurs at the workplace, an employer is responsible for all associated healthcare costs. Yet, workers’ rights are frequently ignored, and Congolese workers rarely take legal action against their employers out of fear of losing their jobs and/or because they lack the funds to hire a lawyer.