Enough experts lead you down the path of the 3Ts—tin, tantalum, tungsten—and gold from the mines of Eastern Congo all the way to your cell phone.
STEP 4: TRANSIT COUNTRIES
Gold powder is tested and weighed within dealerships.
Source: Grassroots Reconciliation Group / Sasha Lezhnev
“The border patrols don’t check when you come across from Congo. Then you sell at one of two houses here [in Uganda]. They never ask for papers about where the gold comes from. Then they sell to Dubai. This business is very big, millions of dollars.” -Frank, former minerals smuggler, Kampala, Uganda
From the exporter the minerals are sent mainly by road, boat, or plane to the neighboring countries of Rwanda, Uganda, and Burundi. Some minerals are legally exported, with taxes paid to the Congolese government, while others are smuggled across Congo’s porous borders. Either way, conflict minerals form a major portion of the trade.