DRC mining

This research project studies the mining sector in Eastern DR Congo. It focuses on interactions between artisanal and industrial mining, as well as differences across these production modes in terms of linkages with local livelihoods and violence.

Research questions

  • How does artisanal / industrial mining support local livelihoods?
  • How does artisanal / industrial mining relate to violence?
  • How do artisanal and industrial mining interact, and how do these interactions affect livelihoods and violence?

Research design

We rely on several data sources, that we analyse using both quantitative and qualitative methods:



We conducted four rounds of fieldwork in the gold mining town of Kamituga (read about Kamituga’s history here).

  • June 2013
    Census of artisanal gold mining pits and actors
  • May – June 2014
    Semi-structured interviews with stakeholders & focus group discussion with artisanal miners
  • December 2014
    Pilot of our survey instruments and interviews with stakeholders
  • March – May 2015
    Structured survey among a representative sample of 469 artisanal miners

Some snapshots of our data

Academic output

Stoop N. and Verpoorten M. (2021). Would you fight? We asked aggrieved artisanal miners in Eastern Congo Journal of Conflict Resolution.
PDF replication

Geenen S., Stoop N. and Verpoorten M. (2021). How much do artisanal miners earn? An inquiry among Congolese gold miners Resources Policy.
PDF survey survey instruments

Stoop, N. and Verpoorten, M. (2020), Risk, Envy and Magic in the Artisanal Mining Sector of South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Development and Change.

Stoop N., Verpoorten M. and van der Windt P. (2019). Artisanal or Industrial Conflict Minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo. World Development 122: 660-674.
PDF  replication

Stoop N, Verpoorten M, van der Windt P (2018) More legislation, more violence? The impact of Dodd-Frank in the DRC. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0201783.

Kilosho B. J., Stoop N. and Verpoorten M. (2017). Defusing the social minefield of gold sites in Kamituga, South Kivu: from legal pluralism to the re-making of institutions? Resources policy53: 356-368.

Stoop Nik, Kilosho Buraye Janvier, Verpoorten Marijke (2016) Relocation, reorientation, or confrontation? Insights from a representative survey among artisanal miners in Kamituga, South Kivu. Antwerpen, IOB, Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp, 55 p


Science communication

We summarised our research findings for a broader audience through various policy briefs, blog posts and a video: