Artisanal or industrial conflict minerals? Evidence from Eastern Congo

Nik Stoop, Marijke Verpoorten, Peter van der Windt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing research suggests a strong link between mining and local conflict but makes no distinction between artisanal and industrial mining. We exploit variation in mineral prices and the granting of industrial mining concessions to investigate how the mode of extraction affects conflict in Eastern Congo. Rising mineral prices increase battles over artisanal mines, indicating competition between armed groups. This effect is much less pronounced for industrial mining. Moreover, the expansion of industrial mining decreases battles, suggesting that companies can secure their concessions. Such expansion does, however, trigger riots, and, when it crowds out artisanal mining, also increases violence against civilians and looting. In line with case-study evidence, these negative effects only materialize when industrial mining companies expand their activities from the research to the production phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)660-674
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Development
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • Africa
  • Artisanal mining
  • Conflict
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Industrial mining
  • Natural resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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