Opinion: DRC jungle mine builds wealth above ground – by Dianna Games (Business Day – September 12, 2016)


AFRICA is an endless source of compelling tales, many of which are not widely told as the action takes place in faraway, isolated places. I heard one such story last week from Boris Kamstra, the head of Canadian-funded mining company Alphamin Resources Corporation, who spoke at an event on doing business in Africa.

He spoke with passion about the company’s experiences in opening up a mine in the remote — and beautiful — area of Bisie in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Bisie has one of the largest tin deposits in the world. But it is little more than a makeshift settlement deep in the jungle, about 60km from the nearest town, Walikale, and a long bad road away from the nearest border crossing, Goma.

This presents formidable challenges, but also opportunities to bring development to an area that has been held hostage by its remoteness and become a target for armed gangs seeking to bully residents.

The presence of hundreds of artisanal miners digging into the hillsides of Bisie was a lure for warlords to extract illegal taxes and protection money.

However, many of the original fortune seekers have left Bisie as basic mining tools are inadequate for deeper mining and the market has been hit by the introduction of Dodd-Frank legislation in the US that aims to ensure conflict-free mineral trade through the supply chain for US-based companies.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2016/09/12/drc-jungle-mine-builds-wealth-above-ground