(Geology for an ECOnomical sustainable development)

In 2007, the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs, External Trade and Development Cooperation entrusted the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS) – by its department “Geological Survey of Belgium”- and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) to develop an excellence centre (GECO) aiming to support politics, citizens and industries working in the sustainable management of the mineral natural resources. Its activities consist in the development of applications in order:

  • to bring indices and methods to the authorities allowing them to work out regulations fixing the optimum conditions for operating taking into account the environmental and social factors;
  • to provide the authorities and the companies with powerful tools of traceability of the raw materials;
  • to advice with expert systems allowing the partners to answer these requirements.

The years 2007-2008 represent a pilot phase for the GECO centre with a focus to the Lufilian fold-and-thrust belt (Katanga, Democratic Republic of Congo). The objectives to be achieved consists into:

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  • the realisation of a geological audit regarding available data for the Katanga copperbelt;
  • the research of practical methods for the traceability and certification of copper and cobalt ores in the light of the current norms of the European Commission;
  • the analyse of the internal management of the Congo “SAESSCAM” (Service d’Assistance et d’Encadrement du Small-Scale Mining).