A legal ruling in favour of an injured worker in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should not itself make headline news, but in an industry with a reputation for setting aside workers’ rights, any such rulings are noteworthy. The decision, that a China-backed miner will have to pay the salary and medical expenses of a worker injured at one of their facilities, could set a precedent for other health and safety disputes in mining, and shift the balance of power away from mining giants.

Elsewhere, we mark International Women’s Day by speaking to Dr Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart about the plight of women in mining, and investigate some of the latest cutting-edge technology to be deployed in the sector, from autonomous exploration techniques to augmented reality glasses.

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In this issue

Chinese investment in Congolese cobalt: the challenges of international mining investment

A high court ruling that a Chinese-backed company must pay medical expenses for an injured Congolese worker has drawn attention to the risks associated with international mining investment. JP Casey asks if this dynamic can be improved.

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A near monopoly: where do the world’s rare earths come from?

The metals at the heart of the energy transition suffer from a near monopoly. Matthew Farmer investigates the imbalances in this critical sector.

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International Women’s Day: greater gender diversity in mining’s landscape

Scarlett Evans speaks with researcher, mining engineer and professor Dr Eleonora Widzyk-Capehart about her experiences in the world of mining.

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Surface mapping: tech, exploration and the future of mining

Scarlett Evans speaks to Jeremy Suard, CEO of subsurface mapping company Exodigo, about the firm’s recently commercialised technology and the implications it may have for how miners explore novel terrains.

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“A brilliant recovery”: inside the latest Global Diamond Industry report

Scarlett Evans delves into Bain & Co’s report with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, looking at how the industry has recovered from the pandemic’s lows.

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Next issue: tailings

Once something of a bogeyman following a series of high-profile accidents, tailings has not been a source of widespread destruction in several years for the mining industry. What technological and operational reforms led to this improvement, and does the future of mining look similarly disaster-free?