Umicore's African heritage


Umicore’s history stretches back more than 200 years and the company in its present form is the result of the coming together of many different entities. One of these entities, Union Minière du Haut Katanga (UMHK), was involved in the mining and processing of metallic ores between 1906 and 1968 in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Although UMHK represents one strand in the history of Umicore, the activities of Umicore today have no connection with the operations of UMHK.

As is the case with most companies that operated in the colonial past, UMHK’s history contains controversial episodes. Umicore in June 2006 published a frank and full account of its history (Brion, René; Moreau, Jean-Louis, De La Mine à Mars, Lannoo, Tielt, 2006 – Brion René,  Moreau-Jean-Louis, Van Mijnbouw tot Mars, Lannoo, Tielt 2006).

The archives of UMHK are today held by the Belgian State Archive and their contents managed by the Association pour la Valorisation des Archives d'Entreprises / Vereniging voor de Valorisatie van Bedrijfsarchieven. All documents are fully available and open for public consultation.   Should you wish to access the UMHK archive please contact the association at: avae.vvba@skynet.be or by phone on +32 477 75 25 55 or +32 477 70 25 39.