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ILLEGAL MINING: 13 Chinese Nationals Arrested

The Authorities in Malemba-Nkulu Territory of Haut-Lomami Province of the DR Congo have arrested 13 Chinese nationals in connection with illegal exploration of lithium in the area.

In a statement by the local authorities spokesman Joel Kayemba, the 13 Chinese nationals were taken into custody on Sunday, 27 August, 2023.

The accused had been living in a large enclosed compound where they had been conducting the illegal mining with three large deposits filled with the minerals at the said premises.

Kayemba further added that the 13 Chinese nationals were sabotaging the Congolese economy by not only conducting illegal mining activities but had also been exporting the minerals out of the country through a mini-airfield that they had built just next to their area of settlement.

Meanwhile, Haut-Lomami governor Isabelle Yumba Kalenga has since dispatched a commission consisting of provincial mining ministers and finance to assess the situation in this case.

The civil society in the province have welcomed the arrest of the Chinese nationals and appealed to the government to be on high alert to put to an end what it has described as looting of the province’s mineral resources.

“This arrest is an act to be encouraged. It is up to the national government to get involved in the mining situation in the Malemba Nkulu territory where systematic looting, illicit exploitation, non-execution of specifications and other irregularities are breaking records,” said civil society spokesperson Claude Kyasangolo.

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