COVID-19 Impact on ASM News about how COVID-19 is affecting artisanal and small scale mining in the world

Democratic Republic of Congo

Artisanal mining in the DRC has had a long history of widespread economic importance. In the 1980s, artisanal miners primarily focused on diamonds, but during the 1990s increases in demand for tantalum, tin and tungsten fueled further diversification of the sector. Today, artisanal mining has extend its activity to gold, cobalt and copper. The country has received significant attention from the international community in the forms of legislative action and due diligence programs seeking to support the sector's development as well as respond to the range of political, economic and social challenges in DRC.

Photograph by Mickaёl Daudin

Key Minerals Mined by ASM

Cassiterite • Cassiterite-Tantalite (mixed) • Cobalt • Coltan • Copper • Diamond • Gold • Tantalite • Tungsten • Wolframite

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Data Source:

Production Value (USD) by Mineral

Data Source:

Production Weight (KG) by Mineral

Data Source:

Democratic Republic of Congo ASM Diamond Production

Artisanal diamond production accounts for the majority of DRC diamond production. The significant increase in reported production from 2003 to 2004 was attributable to the Government’s participation in the Kimberley Process certification program for eliminating trade in conflict diamond and the abolition of the diamond export monopoly granted to International Diamond Industries (USGS 2004). It is estimated that diamond mining employed over half of the DRC's artisanal and small scale mining population (1,100,000 CASM 2007) at peak production in 2007. The sharp decline in production from 2007 to 2008 cites the worldwide economic crisis (USGS 2008).

Data Source: IMF 2005, USGS 2005, USGS 2010, USGS 2015

IMF 2005: Based on staff estimates
USGS 2005 & USGS 2015: An estimated 20% of total diamond is gem quality; the majority of production is from artisanal mining.


The data presented in this Version 1 of the Delve platform are from secondary sources and reflect data availability on the ASM sector. All data, countries and minerals are not yet represented. Data will be added on an ongoing basis as the global data gap on ASM continues to be filled. Visualizations created with under a Creative Commons (CC) Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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