As demand for gold skyrockets, artisanal mining and smuggling ramps up, financing conflict and corrupt politicians, risking human lives and destroying the environment. In the first report of our 5-part series, we look at the current state and worth of gold, amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
For years, Eastern DRC has been embroiled in one of the most murderous and complex conflicts in Africa. National forces, local fighters and foreign-backed militias have piled in, battling for political control, resources, borders and ethnic identity.
“The gold business is changing, many of the bigger companies are changing their strategies,” says Richard Morgan, head of government relations at mining giant Anglo American. “We are doing much less in Africa and no gold at all. South Africa may still have massive gold reserves but for a big company it’s all about the business case,” he adds.