This study analysed how local dynamics are influenced by artisanal mining sector reforms introduced in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) starting in 2009. These reforms, aiming to prevent the mineral trade from financing the country's armed conflict, redefined local access provision to mineral trade. Examining the specific case of Bukama, a territory in south-eastern DRC, the study showed how the objective of establishing responsible supply chains resulted in a process of territorialisation. Through this process, traders and mine sites became listed, demarcated and classified, creating a new access order, giving rise to disputes and redirecting access towards large-scale traders. Against a background of the central state's limited territorial reach and in the absence of a clear legal framework, the reforms allowed institutional voids to surface. This study found that the resulting emergence and acceptance of locally negotiated access arrangements redirected access-granting authority towards local state institutions. Although the reforms have resulted in increased oversight over mineral flows, they have had the opposite effect on the organisation of access, making the provision of access to the mineral trade less transparent. The article draws upon extensive intermittent qualitative fieldwork conducted in Bukama territory, Kalemie and Lubumbashi from 2014 to 2016.