Lack of infrastructure has often been cited as one of the main reasons for the conflicts in eastern Congo. The mining areas are hard to reach, mining work is done by hand and simple, makeshift tools and the miners are almost entirely comprised by the (often enslaved) local population. Farming is difficult, because of the lack of roads to bring the produce to town and crops are often stolen by the local militias, so many are forced to turn to the mines for a stable income. Yet business is booming in the cities and supply can never satisfy the great demand for coltan and tantalum, which is extracted from it.
So how come mechanized mining has never developed there? The demand being so high, means better connections and equipment could increase the throughput and therefore the revenue. The Business has generated local and foreign revenue, so there should be no lack of capital for reinvestment. A better infrastructure would also make the region more secure, therefore holding PR value for western firms using coltan. So the incentive is there both for businesses and the government. Even the militias would benefit from more efficient mining. How come this has never come to be - neither after the Congo crisis nor after the civil war?