The so-called ‘Bisie Mineral Stock’ encompasses about 1,000 tons of cassiterite, extracted by artisanal miners at Bisie mines between November 2010 and June 2015. A number of bans on mining and mineral trade in this region, as well as some hesitance further down the supply chain to buy untagged minerals, meant that mineral production was not marketed, but stored in warehouses.
From 2014 onwards, national and international stakeholders developed a stock clearance strategy for the sale of these minerals. As a reference for potential purchasers to contribute towards their decision-making process on reasonable due diligence and risk mitigation measures, Pact developed a Bisie Security Report that documents the security situation. Considering the complexity of the situation, the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) contracted IPIS to review the report.
IPIS agrees with the Bisie Security Report on the limited rebel involvement in Bisie mining since the start of the stock accumulation in 2012. However, Global Witness and IPIS reports from 2012 and 2013 present clear and detailed accounts of indirect illegal taxation by FARDC at the mines, which complement the Security Report’s observations. Furthermore, IPIS’ report discusses i.a. allegations of overestimation of the stock’s registered volumes, a lack of transparency regarding financing, potential risks of creating a precedent for future stock evacuations, and local tensions in and around Bisie between Bisie’s titleholder Alphamin Bisie Mining SA and artisanal miners’ cooperatives.
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