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Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo

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  • Stoop, Nik
  • Verpoorten, Marijke
  • van der Windt, Peter

Abstract

Existing research suggests a strong link between mining and local conflict but makes no distinction between artisanal and industrial mining. We exploit variation in mineral prices and the granting of industrial mining concessions to investigate how the mode of extraction affects conflict in Eastern Congo. Rising mineral prices increase battles over artisanal mines, indicating competition between armed groups. This effect is much less pronounced for industrial mining. Moreover, the expansion of industrial mining decreases battles, suggesting that companies can secure their concessions. Such expansion does, however, trigger riots, and, when it crowds out artisanal mining, also increases violence against civilians and looting. In line with case-study evidence, these negative effects only materialize when industrial mining companies expand their activities from the research to the production phase.

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  • Stoop, Nik & Verpoorten, Marijke & van der Windt, Peter, 2019. "Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 660-674.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:122:y:2019:i:c:p:660-674
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2019.06.025
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    1. Bazillier, Remi & Girard, Victoire, 2020. "The gold digger and the machine. Evidence on the distributive effect of the artisanal and industrial gold rushes in Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    2. Borsky, Stefan & Leiter, Andrea Maria, 2022. "International trade in rough diamonds and the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    3. Geenen, Sara & Stoop, Nik & Verpoorten, Marijke, 2021. "How much do artisanal miners earn? An inquiry among Congolese gold miners," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    4. Nik Stoop & Marijke Verpoorten, 2020. "Risk, Envy and Magic in the Artisanal Mining Sector of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 51(5), pages 1199-1224, September.
    5. Herrera, Joel Salvador & Martinez-Alvarez, Cesar B., 2022. "Diversifying violence: Mining, export-agriculture, and criminal governance in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    6. Maleke Fourati & Victoire Girard & Jeremy Laurent-Lucchetti, 2021. "Sexual violence as a weapon of war," NOVAFRICA Working Paper Series wp2103, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Nova School of Business and Economics, NOVAFRICA.
    7. Deberdt, Raphael, 2022. "Land access rights in minerals’ responsible sourcing. The case of cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

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