Right out of a fairy tale, a mountain in Luhihi, in Congo’s South Kivu province was discovered where the soil consists of almost ‘60-90%’ gold. Right after this discovery, people from various places started going to this place in search of precious ore.
Now a video of this gold rush in Congo has been viral all around. Video shows people digging at the ground with shovels and using their hands to try and extract the precious material from the ground.
The video which is going viral has been shared by the freelance journalist Ahmad Algohbary.
“A video from the Republic of the Congo documents the biggest surprise for some villagers in this country, as an entire mountain filled with gold was discovered! They dig the soil inside the gold deposits and take them to their homes in order to wash the dirt& extract the gold.” Algohbary wrote on Twitter.
— Ahmad Algohbary (@AhmadAlgohbary) March 2, 2021
Subsistence mining – extracting minerals with rudimentary tools – is common across the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the “artisanal” gold mining is especially widespread in the gold-producing east and northeast of the country, Reuters reports.
Congo has now banned mining in the area
Venant Burume Muhigirwa, South Kivu Mines Minister, said that the influx of diggers had put pressure on the small village where the mountain is located, around 50km (30 miles) from the provincial capital, Bukavu.
Miners, traders, and members of Congo’s armed forces (FARDC) were required to leave the mine sites in and around Luhihi and all mining activities were suspended until further notice, a decree dated on Monday and confirmed by Muhigirwa, said.
Provinces were doing a roaring trade in illegal gold smuggling, according to Reuters which cited a report by the United Nations.
The DRC’s North Kivu, South Kivu, and Ituri provinces reported official production of just over 60kg of artisanal gold in 2019, yet exported a total of just over 73kg, the UN Group of Experts on the Congo found in its annual report.