Bisie is a story of astonishing transformation. The Walikale territory has a difficult history primarily due to conflict minerals. Up to 16,000 people are said to have lived at Bisie supporting ~ 2,000 artisanal miners. The miners exploited shallow Bisie deposits between 2002 and 2012.
This illicit production, which at one point represented about 4% of global tin supply, helped finance conflict in the region and created profound hardship for the miners themselves, who were forced to work in appalling conditions.
The international effort to stamp out the sale of conflict minerals, spearheaded by the USA’s Dodd–Frank Act, made irresponsibly produced tin from this region difficult to sell.
Artisanal mining operations in the area became economically unviable. Leading to Alphamin becoming the first formal mining company to begin operating in the province.
The Dodd-Frank Act seeded further international responsible minerals legislation and protocols such as those of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region’s (ICGLR) Mineral Certification Mechanism which certifies all Alphamin material being exported from the DRC. ICGLR certification confirms OECD compliance of the minerals.
While the Dodd–Frank regulations relating to conflict minerals were repealed in 2017, other international bodies, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the European Union, have been putting in place regulations that build and improve on Dodd–Frank’s successes. Alphamin is careful to be fully compliant with all regulations that govern responsibly produced minerals.
See more on why these regulations protect our business, by clicking on the button below.
The mine is in a sparsely populated forest in the Walikale Territory of North Kivu province. This remoteness allows the operation to be in control of its own destiny and focus on efficient reliable production. The nature of the Mpama North tin mine and processing plant requires very little power and few consumables, a major benefit in limiting logistical activities.
The conflict minerals provision of the Dodd–Frank Act sparked a consumer awareness and drive for responsibly produced materials. Alphamin operates with the highest standards required of any modern mine, with a strong focus on improving the overall wellbeing of our host communities and minimising its environmental impact. This supports a full traceability system of all tin concentrate produced.
Under the DRC’s new Mining Code (2018), a significant portion of royalties go to the region where the mine is located. As there is little economic activity besides Alphamin in the Walikale Territory and North Kivu Province, these royalty payments are an indispensable income stream for the Walikale area and North Kivu’s Government.
Alphamin’s Mpama North mine is in a remote region with little to no economic activity. Gaining proper access to the site required a 38 Kilometre road be built. This was achieved by recruiting 600 locals who built this road through dense jungle – a truly extraordinary endeavour.
Alphamin’s relationship with its host communities is one built on collaboration: by working together we were able to achieve what many had thought was impossible.
This success is not only good for Alphamin; mining is the ultimate pioneering industry. To build and operate a large-scale modern mine requires infrastructure, including roads, telecommunications, banking, and more. Most of this infrastructure is available to the host communities around the mine and those along the logistics lines.
The Mpama North mine has brought cellular phone connectivity to the mine and surrounding community. Related small businesses are booming as a result, security and governance in the area have also improved.
Alphamin sources from local suppliers wherever possible, maximising the positive economic impact the mine is having on the Walikale territory and North Kivu Province.
Alphamin is an economic catalyst for North Kivu. Mpama North is proof that large-scale formal businesses can operate profitably in North Kivu. Communities in Walikale Territory are experiencing the stability, improved infrastructure, education, entrepreneurial opportunities, jobs, and economic growth that mining companies can bring to a region.
Mpama North’s mine is carefully engineered to be safe, well ventilated and well lit, providing a conducive environment for our team.
It is located on the side of a hill, which allows easy access to the ore body without the need for deep vertical shafts.
The tin ore itself is an easily identifiable pink colour – making it simple for our operators to identify it underground and within the concentration process.
The Lowa Alliance is a not-for-profit company through which Alphamin’s contributions to community social development are managed.
It is managed jointly by community representatives and Alphamin.
Its goal is to positively impact the 15,000 households (or 90,000 residents) that live within our area of influence.
Alphamin’s investment, supported by socially responsible investors, is in line with global efforts to assure supply chain transparency of responsible minerals and the Great Lakes regional initiatives to assure responsibly produced certification linked to government reforms, such as those initiated by the DRC and Rwanda.
Alphamin is a proud subscribing participant in the Voluntary Principles on Security & Human Rights. The participants recognize the importance of the promotion and protection of human rights throughout the world and the constructive role business and civil society can play in advancing these goals.
Established in 2000, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights are a set of principles designed to guide companies in maintaining the safety and security of their operations within an operating framework that encourages respect for human rights. Please visit www.voluntaryprinciples.org for more information.