Kinshasa — Société Minière de Bisunzu (SMB), the DRC’s biggest coltan miner, resumed purchases of the ore after a three-month shutdown at one of the country’s largest deposits. Output restarted at SMB’s mining permit, comprising seven sites at Rubaya in eastern DRC, on August 14 and the company began buying the minerals extracted by artisanal diggers on Tuesday, said Freddy Nzonga, the company’s director of traceability, by phone. Production was halted in May following allegations of smuggling and attacks by miners against SMB officials. "The diggers returned to the sites last month," Nzonga said. Production is "still quite modest," he said. The DRC produces more than a quarter of the world’s tantalum, the scarce mineral that’s extracted from coltan ore and used in Apple iPhones and other smartphones as well as armaments and aviation components. In 2017, SMB purchased about 1,000t of coltan ore extracted from its permit area. That is about half of the DRC’s total production, mines m...

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