A largely untouched and uncontrolled area of the Democratic Republic of Congo is suddenly gathering a lot more attention, thanks to the arrival of Alphamin Resources, a company looking to build a mine in the most unusual of areas.
The area in which they hope to begin construction is about 60km from any settlement, has very little road connection (only the ones that have been built by Alphamin, and within very close proximity there are 3 well-established rebel groups. So, why would any mining company choose to set up camp in such a location and begin operations?
It is long-believed that the grounds of Congo is bristling with treasure and goods ready to be mined, however, people modern mining companies have long avoided eastern Congo due to the fact it has been ravaged with civil war for the last decade. Other areas of Congo such as copper mines in Katanga, Congo’s south, and a gold mine in South Kivu have proved prosperous to owner companies, which will be the motive behind Alphamin taking the risk.
Alphamin has said that the investment is extremely attractive - even though commodity prices are currently very low, they believe the ore hiding under the grounds of eastern Congo are richer than can be found anywhere else on earth. (Like almost everything else in the camp, the drill rig had to be lifted in by helicopter.) The ore they contain is 4.5% grade. That means that for every 100 tonnes of ore extracted, the firm will be able to sell 3.25 tonnes of tin (not all the tin can be extracted from the rock). Most other mines would be happy to produce 0.7 tonnes.