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Congo army to remove illegal miners from Glencore site

The Democratic Republic of Congo is preparing to send troops to remove illegal miners from a Glencore Plc mine where at least 43 people died last week.

The deployment follows a similar move last month to protect China Molybdenum Co.’s Tenke Fungurume mine from incursions by illegal miners. Thursday’s fatal accident at an open pit operated by Glencore’s Kamoto Copper Co. was caused by a landslide that occurred after the people broke into an area of the mine, according to the company. Glencore estimates that 2,000 unauthorized people enter the industrial copper-cobalt site on average every day.

“I have received an order to do the same thing as at TFM,” General John Numbi, inspector-general of the Congolese Armed Forces, said by phone from the city of Kolwezi. “The president has instructed me to put an end to the theft of minerals in the concessions, on the mining sites.”

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Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi met with senior military officers Sunday to discuss the response, Numbi said. The operation is expected start on Tuesday, he said.

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