Geodynamics and mineral resources
The service carries out fundamental and applied research on geology, geodynamic processes, and natural resources (essentially mineral) in Central Africa and neighbouring regions.
We study the main lithological units (cratons, mobile belts, sedimentary terrains) to understand their genesis and behaviour over geological time (geodynamics), paying special attention to the formation of ore deposits.
We pursue a knowledge and skill transfer policy for universities and state-run services in geology and mining, particularly in DRC, Burundi, and Rwanda.
- Thierry De Putter, Service head
Geology and metallogeny of supergene mineral deposits, contribution of mineral resources to development
- Imen Arfaoui
- Damien Delvaux de Fenffe, Geologist
Geodynamics of the Great Rift Valley and the Congo Basin, active tectonics and seismic hazards, petroleum resources
- Max Fernandez-Alonso, Geologist
Geology of the Kibaran belt (East DRC, Rwanda, Burundi)
- Pascale Lahogue, Geologist
Geology and urban hazards (Kinshasa, Bushimaye)
- Gérard Nimpagaritse, Geologist
- Théodore Trefon, Expert in governance and natural resources
environmental governance and development in DRC
Technical and administrative staff
- Abraheim Ali, Heritage guard
- Anouk Borst
- René Boyen, Technician, petrographic thin sections
- Eric Warner, Technician archives
- Daniel Baudet
- Stijn DEWAELE
- Eric Hanssen
Our study areas are essentially located in the DRC (Kongo-Central, Katanga, the eastern part of the country) and the Great Lakes region (Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania). We also investigate the Tuareg shield (central Sahara).
Cratons and mobile belts
Our research seeks to increase the available knowledge on cratons (regions that have been stable for more than 500 million years), in particular in Central Africa and the Sahara, and mobile belts (regions that have never achieved geological stability) that surround them.
We focus on the relationships and mutual interactions as well as the reactivations that have affected certain cratonic regions (metacratons), and which have often allowed the formation of large ore deposits through successive enrichments.
History of the Congo Basin
We investigate this immense river basin, in particular the tectonic movements that structured this part of the earth’s crust over the last hundred million years. These movements led to major consequences, either on the formation of secondary deposits (supergene, oxidized), often very rich (e.g. Cu-Co in Katanga), or on the possible formation of deep oil reserves.
Secondary ore deposits
We study the genesis of secondary, oxidized ore deposits, brought into contact with the atmosphere during the Cenozoic uplift of the basin’s southern and eastern margins, in connection with the opening of the Great Rift Valley’s western branch, some thirty million years ago.
Some of these deposits are world-class ones (notably copper and cobalt in Katanga). The impact of mining activity on public health in the province of Katanga or the Kivu region is also studied by the service.
We study the production, trade, and consumption patterns of African mineral resources and their implications on how local societies function and develop, and on the global and transnational minerals market.
Special attention is paid to the artisanal (and informal) mining sector in the Great Lakes region, the source of a quarter of the world’s supply of tantalum (used in the mini-capacitors of mobile phones) and a fraction (a few %) of the world’s gold.
In a broader sense, the service also studies environmental governance in the DRC, that is, the body of regulation related to the management of the natural environment: agriculture, forestry, mines, oil.