KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 25 (UPI) -- Suspicious activity at a uranium mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spawned a U.N. investigation, the BBC reported Thursday.
A BBC reporter tipped off the International Atomic Energy Agency that as many as 6,000 miners were working the Shinkolobwe mine in Katanga province, extracting cobalt, copper, platinum and uranium.
While the government says it shut down the mine, the BBC correspondent said the uranium is being sold to nearby furnaces operated mainly by private businessmen from China and India, and exported via neighboring Zambia.
"We're very concerned," said IAEA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. "We are demanding information from the government on this alleged illegal mining."
Uranium extracted from the Shinkolobwe mine was used by the United States in the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II.