Following two months of fact-finding within and around the Great Lakes region, particularly in the eastern DRC, the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth in the country issued a preliminary report of its findings to the Security Council.The panel says that it has gained a better understanding of the varying roles of the different foreign armies and armed groups – both foreign and Congolese – in the exploitation of resources and in the country’s continuing war.With various strategies being employed to divert revenues for personal gain or to pay foreign armies – either to maintain their support against rival groups or to finance continuing, existing military operations – their immediate effect has been “the further collapse of most local economies and the deepening impoverishment of most Congolese families,” according to the report.Meanwhile, the humanitarian toll of this continuing exploitation is widespread, especially in the eastern part of the DRC. “Local populations, including children, are being conscripted and used as forced labour in the extraction of resources by some military forces in different regions,” the report says.Other tactics, such as the destruction of the infrastructure for agricultural production, are allegedly used by different armed parties to force people to participate in extraction work, leading in part to increased food insecurity.”Acute malnutrition rates are alarmingly high,” the report notes. “While mortality levels vary greatly from place to place depending on the extent of conflict and the availability of health services, overall they are among the highest in the world.”
At Intermat 2015 last week, attended by IM, MTG introduced its innovative U design bucket side protector for its ProMet range to the market, which includes the MTGtwist hammerless locking system. The new protector offers up to 4 times more resistance than the MTG LS/LA shrouds and keeps robust and stable with wear material ratio over 70% compared to MTG LS /LA shrouds.Other advantages are its increased contact surface that reduces plastic deformation to the sides of the bucket as well as the fact that they are reversible, which allows changing their position and therefore increasing wear life. They boast a new design for an optimum distribution of the wear material and increased protection of the locking system.The new ProMet bucket protection shroud has been specifically designed for 30, 40, 50 and 60 mm blade thickness excavators.Also released was the new StarMet Wear Bottom Leg Shroud, which protects the bottom leg of the adapter and its welding area. The main advantage of the StarMet Wear Bottom Leg Shroud is that it duplicates the wear material of the bottom leg adapter and therefore reduces the down times of machinery related with GET. This product “is easy and fast assembling and has already been satisfactorily tested for almost one year in highly abrasive applications.”The new StarMet Wear Bottom Leg Shroud is currently available in StarMet adapter sizes 120, 180 and 500, it will also be released for tooth adapter sizes 50, 60 and 240 beginning on June 15, 2015.