Rich in minerals
Copper and cobalt wealth
The Katanga area is estimated to contain around 5% of the world’s copper and nearly half its cobalt. In addition, this southeastern region has reserves of tin, radium, diamonds and uranium.
Eastern regions of the DR Congo are rich in minerals and diamonds, with the southern province of Haut Katanga particularly known for its mining wealth.
Haut Katanga (formerly part of the larger province known as Katanga) is sometimes called the ‘other Congo’, because its drier savannah climate varies from the tropical jungle which covers much of the rest of the country.
The region is also considered different because it has seen much development. This is because of its mineral wealth, which is accessed by large mining companies. These companies are taxed on their earnings and the money is used to build roads and facilities such as hospitals.
The region is also home to many professionals linked to the mining industry, such as geologists, scientists and businessmen.
Industrial-scale mines were first opened here by the Belgians in the 20th century. These are now owned by the national mining company which overseas activity in the region.
One of the mines in the region, the old Shinkolobwe mine, was the source of the uranium used in the bombs dropped by the Americans on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.