A history of early copper exploration in Katanga (D.R. Congo)
Pirard, Eric[Université de Liège - ULg > Département Argenco : Secteur GeMMe > Géoressources minérales & Imagerie géologique >]
Proceedings INHIGEO 2010
5-10 Juillet 2010
Int. Commission on the History of Geological Sciences
[en] geological exploration ; copper ; katanga
[en] The latest archeological findings suggest that malachite outcrops have been mined as early as the Vth century A.C. in Garangaze a province known nowadays as Katanga . The pre-Bayeke tribes used to seasonally mine these outcrops and cast copper hansas (crosses) that were used as exchange goods and have been found all over the African continent even reaching Europe as early as the XVIth century through trade with the Portuguese and the Dutch Oud West Indisch Compagnie. The first explicit mention of copper in European texts is said to date back to March 22nd 1798 in a report made by pombeiros (afro-portuguese metis) to the hence governor of Rios de Sena (Mozambique) Francesco Jose Maria Lacerda .
Katanga has long remained as the most inaccessible region of the African continent. Despite attempts made by Livingstone until his death in 1873, by Cameron in 1874 and by Thomson in 1878, it was considered to remain for long out of reach