Alphamin funding in place to start building Bisie tin mine in DRC
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Alphamin funding in place to start building Bisie tin mine in DRC

Alphamin Resources Corp has secured a credit facility of US$80 million from a syndicate of lenders for the construction of the Bisie tin mine (the ABM project) in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ABM project, which is likely to become one of the most significant tin mines in the world, is expected to begin production in early 2019 with steady state production expected towards the end of the same year.

“We are very pleased that Sprott and Barak have committed to partner with our existing major shareholder, Tremont, to provide the debt financing needed for the ABM project, as a step in drawing the fund-raising process towards a close and delivering on our commitment to stakeholders to bring the ABM project into production,” said Boris Kamstra, CEO of Alphamin. “The ABM project is advancing and our team has made excellent progress in the construction of the mine and associated infrastructure. The completion of the box cut for the underground portal of the mine is another key risk mitigating milestone for the project. We’ve also received commitments for the majority of the remaining equity funding requirement, so we are excited to move this forward with everyone involved.”

Considerable progress on the construction of the ABM project has already been made to-date. The box cut for the underground portal of the mine has been completed and the decline has already progressed 50 m underground into hard rock. The first production at the mine is expected early in 2019 and the mine is expected to reach steady state production towards the end of 2019.

Additional project construction milestones achieved to-date include opening the access road between the Walikale – Kisangani road and Bisie which has enabled trucks to make regular deliveries of material and equipment to Bisie using this road as well as the construction and inauguration of the Lukaa school near Logu.

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 t capacity, rubber-tyre, load haul dump units, dumped into 40 t 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 t/y. Access to the orebody will be via a trucking ramp located 20 m below the orebody. The trucking ramp has been designed as a 5 m H x 5 m W 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 20 m 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.

Publication: IM mining
Written by: Paul Moore