This page is where you will be able to link to articles and videos related to the mining of Congo's resources, particulary of coltan for tantalum supplies, by large corporations and the direct correlation of the armed conflicts.

Coltan is short for Columbite-tantalite. When refined, it is the vital element within mobile phones, laptop computers, pagers, and other electronic devices.

Link Summary
Dan Rather Reports

Dan Rather Reports has an excellent 58 minutes report about the state of the U.S. economy that includes some information about the mining of Congo's resources and how it fuels the fighting.

The podcast report is $1.99 through iTunes.

Here is a free version on a commercial site from The segment on Congo is located about 3:40 into the podcast. The report summarizes a seven month investigation by Dan Rather reports. The report focuses on an American Company (Freeport McMoRan, based in Phoenix, Arizona), which purchased a copper mine in Copper. Even though millions of dollars are made from the mining, DRC does not benefit. There are no schools or roads being built, rather people are moved from their villages with promises of benefits, but the promises are broken.

Dan Rather Reports Nominated For an Emmy for Congo Copper Mine Story:

"All Mine" focuses on an American company, Arizona's Freeport McMoran, which, when it bought a massive copper mine from the government of Congo, also took control of part of the impoverished country's economic future. Critics of the purchase said that the contract for the billion-dollar mine left the war-torn African nation with little in return, and that the U.S. government played a part in what many are describing as a modern day land grab.

"Once again 'Dan Rather Reports' has been recognized by a highly respected, national organization," said Mark Cuban, president and co-founder of HDNet. "To have this nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences just backs up the fact that Dan and his staff put out an amazing program each and every week."

BlipTV link

Download the report

Press Release


The politics of mining in Congo - Info you won't often find.
What is Coltan?
(Columbite-tantalite). An explanation of this is a metallic ore comprising Niobium and Tantalum and is " ...a vital component in the capacitors that control current flow in cell phone circuit boards." Guns, Money and Cell Phones: "The link between the bloodshed and coltan is causing alarm among high-tech manufacturers. Slowly they are beginning to grapple with the possibility that their products may contain the tainted fruits of civil war.


Some shocking facts behind mining - a must read

A Commentary, "Casualties in the Scramble for Congo’s Resources" by Maurice Carney and Carrie Crawford -- More about the truth and politics of Congo's war that you won't often find.

"Who are the primary exploiters of Coltan in the Congo?
Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and their proxy militias are the primary exploiters of coltan in the Congo..."

The coltan mined by rebels and foreign forces is sold to foreign corporations. This bold and informative article lists the "major player" corporations which serve as "the engine of the conflict in the DRC", the second tier companies, and what electronic devices are made from coltan.


A reprint of the original article "Guns, Money and Cell Phones'' from the publication "The Industry Standard" and looks into the economic reasons behind the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the commercial interests of major computer and cell phone related companies in the exploitation of the DRC which comes at a massive cost to civilian life.

BBC links

BBC News Congo's coltan rush

YouTube videos



6 videos have been added on our YouTube Playlist link:

The Real Mobile Phone Wars - DRC - A YouTube video from JourneyPictures - Gives background of the mining of coltan

Pulitzer Center: In Focus: Congo's Bloody Coltan - Explanation of the mining and exploitation of Congo and the conflicts which result.

Deadliest Conflict Since World War II:
Corporations Reaping Millions As Congo Suffers Deadliest Conflict Since World War II

Part 2: Corporations Reaping Millions

Grand Theft Congo - DRC:
The major problem facing Africa is corruption and control of resources. In the DRC, the military is stealing minerals. Although dated this video gives an excellent background of the exploitation of Congo by large corporations - A bit dated (2006) but excellent information about the mining sites. Workers make about 25 cents a day for mining with their hands (and being suspected unwittingly to mercury poisoning). Some of the miners are former child soldiers (who were soldiers as young as six-years old).
United Nations coltan primer
Carter Center - Contains lots of info on mining
Mining Newsletter by

"Mining for Bling"
Video Page


A video by - A bit dated (2006) but excellent information about the mining sites in Congo.

Workers make about 25 cents a day for mining with their hands (and being suspected unwittingly to mercury poisoning). Some of the miners are former child soldiers (who were soldiers as young as six-years old).


Article: U.S./U.K. Allies Grab Congo Riches and Millions Die (November 2008) How the mobile phone in your pocket is helping to pay for the civil war in Congo. Article by Mike Pflanz in Goma. (November 2008)

"More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States. At its heart [the conflict] are the natural resources found in Congo and multinational corporations that extract them" By Amy Goodman


Is That A Bloody Connection To The Congo In Your Pocket Or Are You Pleased To See Me? By Tom Foremski

San Francisco BayView National Black Newspaper

"U.S. military and national security interests are determined to control Eastern Congo, because its unparalleled mineral riches are even more geostrategically significant than petroleum. They are essential to the manufacture of defense products such as jet engines, missile components, electronic components, iron and steel." by Ann Garrison


New York Times

November 2008 - An article by NY Times's Lydia Polgreen: "Congo’s Riches, Looted by Renegade Troops" -- The first article in a series that provides a history of the conflicts over mining resources.

The Scramble for Tin in DRC - Lydia Polgreen, New York Times. November 2008.

"15 and Broke in a Cut-throat Congo Mining Town" by New York Time's Lydia Polgreen. November 2008

Rwanda Stirs Deadly Brew of Troubles in Congo. December 2008: By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN.

"Another cause for suspicion is Rwanda’s past plundering of Congo’s rich trove of minerals, going back to the late 1990s when the Rwandan Army seized control of eastern Congo and pumped hundreds of millions of dollars of smuggled coltan, cassiterite and even diamonds back to Rwanda, according to United Nations documents.

Many current high-ranking Rwandan officials, including the minister of finance, the ambassador to China and the deputy director of the central bank, were executives at a holding company that a United Nations panel in 2002 implicated in the illicit mineral trade and called to be sanctioned. The officials say that they are no longer part of that company and that the company did nothing wrong. Nonetheless, eastern Congo’s lucrative mineral business still seems to be heavily influenced by ethnic Rwandan businessmen with close ties to Kigali."

Some of the most powerful players today, like Modeste Makabuza Ngoga, who runs a small empire of coffee, tea, transport and mineral companies in eastern Congo, are part of a Tutsi-dominated triangle involving the Rwandan government, the conflict-driven mineral trade and a powerful rebel movement led by a renegade general, Laurent Nkunda, a former officer in Rwanda’s army.

Several United Nations reports have accused Mr. Makabuza Ngoga of using strong-arm tactics to smuggle minerals from Congo to Rwanda and one report said that he enjoyed “close ties” to Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame. This week a rebel spokesman said that Mr. Makabuza Ngoga was on Mr. Nkunda’s “College of Honorables,” essentially a rebel advisory board. Mr. Nkunda’s troops recently marched into areas known to be mineral rich — and areas where ethnic Rwandan businessmen are trying to gain a foothold."



Dominion Paper


Dominion Paper's November 2008 Series on Mining and Congo

Canadian mining companies among those under review by Zahra Moloo, November 2008

"The Congolese government surprised many when it announced early last year that it would be conducting a review of 63 mining contracts that were signed during the Second Congo War.

The review aimed to revisit the conditions under which mining concessions and contracts were granted during the bloodiest years of the conflict, which is also known as Africa’s World War, during which as many as 5.4 million people have been killed since 1998.

It is expected that the review will call for the re-negotiation of about 25 mining contracts and the possible cancellation of about 22 others...The Second Congo War was fueled in large part by a scramble for resources."

"Looters’ War" in the Congo. UN report exposes role of Canadian mining companies

"Blood Cells"
Coltan in phones exacerbates crisis in the Congo

Project Censored


High-tech Genocide in Congo. "The world’s most neglected emergency, according to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, is the ongoing tragedy of the Congo, where six to seven million have died since 1996 as a consequence of invasions and wars sponsored by western powers trying to gain control of the region’s mineral wealth. At stake is control of natural resources that are sought by U.S. corporations—diamonds, tin, copper, gold, and more significantly, coltan and niobium, two minerals necessary for production of cell phones and other high-tech electronics; and cobalt, an element essential to nuclear, chemical, aerospace, and defense industries." Journalist Matt Rothschild



about Coltan

Pulitzer Center


In Search of Congo's Coltan by Mvemba Phezo Dizolele,Pambazuka News. (Many articles, photos, video, and links)


"Parties earn vast sums from illegal trade in minerals" by Xan Rice, Guardian.Co.UK -- December, 2008

Proceeds from the control of lucrative natural resources, from gold and coltan to charcoal and cows, remain a key driver of the insecurity in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Congo's blood metals:
As militias control lucrative natural resources, western consumers can help the increasingly war-torn nation, by Caroline Sourt.


Global Investment Watch

Global Investment Watch has a series of articles about coltan and mining, beginning with "The Coltan Wars Pt. 1: Economics and the Seeds of Conflict" by John Richardson, December 2008. - Link to article - Correlation exists between exploitation of Congo's resources and the arming of militant groups