One of the world’s most significant tin deposit

The Bisie Tin Project’s Mpama North prospect in North Kivu in the eastern region of the DRC is one of the most significant tin deposit in the world. Alphamin holds a current Exploitation Permit in North Kivu in the DRC. The Project presents an attractive opportunity to develop one of the highest grade known tin deposits in the world and to promote economic growth and stability in North Kivu. Alphamin believes that the development of the Project would be a catalyst for regional economic growth. Alphamin is committed to contributing to the stability and economic activity in North Kivu, bringing significant benefit to the community and other stakeholders alike.

Environmental & Social Documents

Alphamin Bisie Mining SA (ABM SA) intends to develop the Bisie Tin Mining Project in North Kivu in the eastern region of the DRC. An underground tin mining operation will be established, with the required processing and the supporting infrastructure, which will be located on the surface of the valley area to the west of the existing exploration camp.

EOH Coastal & Environmental Services (CES) were appointed to undertake an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) for the proposed project, which informed the Definitive Feasibility Study planning process – which was completed in March 2016.

Please take note that the ESHIA process and subsequent reporting is not required to seek authorisation or approval from any mandated national or provincial authority in the DRC, but is being generated to assist ABM in following applicable national and international reporting standards and specifications as it relates to mining projects of this nature.

The Executive Summary of the Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (below) is, therefore open for public comment until 23 September 2016.

BISIE TIN – ESHIA SUMMARY – PUBLIC DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT
BISIE TIN – ESHIA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – PUBLIC MEETINGS
BISIE TIN – RESUME EXECUTIF – POUR RÉUNIONS D’INFORMATION PUBLIQUE
BISIE TIN – ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME

Location

Location and abundance

Bisie is located in the Walikale Territory of the North Kivu Province of the DRC. Located approximately 180km northwest of Goma, the provincial capital of the North Kivu Province, Bisie is 60km from the town of Walikale and 32km from the national route linking Walikale with Kisangani. Bisie is one of the world’s largest tin deposits and among the most advanced tin projects being developed, thus it presents significant advantages.

Drilling at Mpama North and Mpama South commenced in July 2012. Initial drilling focused on both prospects where significant tin mineralisation was identified over several hundred metres of strike at both Mpama North and Mpama South. Results confirmed the potential for a robust tin project at Bisie and management decided to focus on drilling out a resource at Mpama North even though results showed both targets had equal potential to host significant resources. In November 2013 the Company announced a maiden inferred mineral resource estimate of 4Mt at 3.5% tin for 141 200 tonnes contained tin (0.25% cut-off). The resource estimate at Mpama North was updated in March 2015 and included indicated resources of 2.65Mt at 4.49% tin for 119 240 tonnes contained tin (0.5% cut-off) and 1.2Mt at 3.6% tin for 42 800 tonnes contained tin (0.5% cut-off) in the inferred category.

The Company announced a 30% increase to the March 2015 mineral resource estimate in October 2015. This included 3.94Mt at 3.94% tin for 155 300 tonnes contained tin (0.5% cut-off) in the indicated category and 0.84Mt at 4.64% tin for 38 900 tonnes contained tin (0.5% cut-off) in the inferred category and was used in the mining study in the Feasibility Study.

The mineral resource estimates were again updated in May 2016. The mineral resource estimate contains 19 600 tonnes tin in measured mineral resource, 188 400 tonnes tin of indicated mineral resource and 22 800 tonnes tin of inferred mineral tesources declared at a 0.5% tin cut-off grade.

The completion of the 2016 Feasibility Study for the Project was an important step in demonstrating its robust nature and progressing it towards execution and production.

Bisie, which also has excellent metallurgical recovery characteristics and very low levels of deleterious materials in concentrate, is expected to produce tin concentrate at an all-in operating cost of US$8 837 per tonne tin, after it comes into production. There is no other known tin project in the world that can commit to construction under the present price conditions, and as such, the Project is expected to become the next significant tin producer.

Click on the button below for a more detailed summary of the Bisie Tin Project.

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Overcoming challenges

There is very little infrastructure in the area and current access to the site is by helicopter or by a two-day hike. A basecamp has been constructed at site. Infrastructure within the local area of the Project is non-existent, or is in a poor state of repair. As such the Project will require significant investment in road access, power generation and waste management. ABM has already commenced with construction of a 32km access route from the Project area to the village of Logu. As at June 2016 Alphamin has constructed approximately 30km of light vehicle access road to expedite mobilisation of contractors for the construction phase. Alphamin has the expertise, resolve and determination to overcome these challenges, on the way to delivering a lucrative tin mining operation in North Kivu.

Geology and science of the opportunity

Bara Consulting carried out the mining study and recommended that exploitation of the mineral resource at Bisie be realised by underground mechanised mining methods. They envisage a sub-level cave (SLC) mining method to remove the orebody in retreat fashion from the southern and northern limits of mineralisation back towards the centralised trucking ramp. Blasted ore will be loaded by 14 tonne capacity, rubber-tyre, load haul dump units, dumped into 40 tonne articulated dump trucks and hauled to the surface where it will be stockpiled ahead of processing for tin recovery. Mining is planned at a rate of 360 000 tonnes per annum. Access to the orebody will be via a trucking ramp located 20m below the orebody. The trucking ramp has been designed as a 5mH x 5mW excavation and will be developed at an inclination of 9 degrees below the horizontal. The trucking ramp will serve as the main intake airway for the mine. Sub-levels are spaced 20m apart vertically and service raises will be developed between sub-levels for the installation of mining services and an emergency exit route in the event of a collapse of, or blockage in the trucking ramp. The service raises also serve as a return airway for the mine. Water will be collected in the mining face and pumped to a cascading dam system on each level. Water will be pumped from the mine to a surface dam.

Widespread support

Alphamin is committed to promoting development and prosperity in North Kivu, while driving stability in the region. The Project is likely to socially and economically transform the region, adding significant local value. Therefore, the Project, enjoys the support of the North Kivu provincial government and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (GDRC). The GDRC also has a non-dilutive, 5% share in ABM. The Project also enjoys international, strong DRC political and diplomatic support, US and South African diplomatic support and collaboration with international aid agencies. Local communities strongly support the development of the project as it will create employment and generate improved infrastructure. Local community support will be further enhanced through the Lowa Alliance, a not-for-profit foundation that will drive comprehensive and ongoing economic and social development, which will be funded by ABM, the communities themselves and donations.

Smart investment

Tin mineralisation at Bisie is unique due to its high-grade nature, predominant occurrence of cassiterite veins, and breccia with little fine disseminated cassiterite and a strong structural control. Tin mineralisation at Bisie is also unique in its abundance of wood tin thought to be a result of compositional layering due to variations in the iron content within cassiterite veins. An updated Feasibility Study in May 2016 announced probable mineral reserves of 3.52Mt at 4.34% tin containing 152 800 tonnes of tin (1.8% tin cut-off grade). An estimated 9 000 tonnes of tin in concentrate will be produced annually giving LoM of 12.5 years.

Alphamin is expected to deliver a significant return to investors through the full range of expected tin prices. Under the Feasibility Study the net present value (NPV) of the investment in Bisie amounts to US$402.2 million and the internal rate of return (IRR) to 49.1%. The Feasibility Study was based on a US$17 300 per tonne tin price. Alphamin intends to develop Bisie at a projected capital cost of US$151.4 million and to raise debt and/or equity during 2016/2017 to develop the Project and provide working capital during the ramp-up phase. Alphamin’s future expansion is expected to be internally funded with operational cash flows. On the assumption that construction activities will commence in Q3 2017, first production of tin in concentrate is anticipated in Q4 2018. Steady state production is anticipated by 2019.

A bright future awaits and a phased approach has been mapped out.

  • Develop Mpama North 2017 to 2018
  • Operate mine and plant at output of 9 900 tonnes of tin per annum from 2019 to 2027
  • Develop Mpama South 2025 to 2026
  • Develop Mpama Deeps 2028 to 2031

Sound risk management

The ABM management team has extensive local knowledge and strong local relationships to assist in managing political and social risk. Security risks in the context of eastern DRC are highly localised. Proactive information gathering and analysis and information sharing with relevant parties, including social development programmes, will assist to anticipate, generate appropriate responses and to mitigate such risk. Alphamin understands and closely monitors political, social and security dynamics in the DRC and engages with local, national and diplomatic security services and the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations to share information and concerns. The ABM strategic security plan aims to effectively manage the security risks in a collaborative manner, and in accordance with the laws of the DRC to achieve a secure and confident working environment.

Managing security risks includes proactive and assertive information gathering to anticipate trends and risks. It also entails collaborating within the laws of the GDRC and the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights guidelines with public security services (including MONUSCO). Furthermore, it means continuously integrating security risks with operational and community development strategies so that Alphamin’s risks can be mitigated, as operations, employment and corporate social investment demonstrates economic options for a growing number of the local population.

Logistics and infrastructure

ABM has commenced with construction of a 32km access route from the Project area to the village of Logu. As at June 2016, Alphamin has constructed approximately 30km of light vehicle access road to expedite mobilisation of contractors for the construction phase. The process plant water requirements are 690m³ per day. Aquifer water will make its way into the mine workings at a rate of 1 000m³ to 5 000m³ per day, depending on the extent of mining across the LoM. The water extracted from the underground workings will be used for the process plant operations, with excess water tested for pollutants before being discharged into the Bisie River. The Feasibility Study concluded that 3.6MW of electrical motors will be installed at the Project. Electrical power for these motors will be provided by an onsite diesel-powered generating plant. The power generating plant will require some 500 000l of diesel fuel per month to run. Using a base crude oil price of US$60 per barrel, electrical energy costs will amount to US$0.37 per kWh.