Thursday 4 July 2019 3:25 pm

Congo starts evicting up to 2,000 illegal miners from Glencore site where dozens died

The Congolese army has started evicting miners from a Glencore site after a landslide which killed dozens.

Illegal miners were being dispersed from the area around the copper and cobalt mine run by a Glencore subsidiary today.

Read more: Glencore head of oil Alex Beard retires amid US investigations

The company London-listed miner confirmed that forces from the Democratic Republic of Congo were close to the Kamoto Copper Company.

Glencore has told the army that it expects restraint and respect for human rights, it said. Activists have said they are worried the evictions could lead to violent clashes.

After a landslide killed 43 last week, the government promised to crack down on illegal miners. Shares dropped seven per cent after the accident.

The miners defied an army-imposed deadline to leave the site earlier in the week.

Glencore has said it estimates that around 2,000 illegal miners enter the site every day.

Meanwhile a total of 170,000 informal miners are estimated to work in Lualaba province alone. They use basic tools to dig underground, causing many accidents.

Read more: Acid spill near Glencore mine kills 20

The mining sector has been under increasing scrutiny ever since January when a Brazilian waste dam burst, likely killing over 300 people.

Vale, whose mine caused the chaos, is being investigated by authorities in the country. Meanwhile international bodies have called for better safety standards in dams used to store mining waste.