The CFSI membership will help position ABM as a leader in the conflict-free mining community and ensure the credibility of the company’s tin exports, which will be the first conflict-free industrial mineral exports from the DRC and neighbouring countries, according to Alphamin.
ABM is developing the Bisie tin project and planning to start full production in 2019. The mine will produce and estimated 10 000 t of tin in concentrate per year over its projected 12-year lifespan, which represents about 3% of the world’s current production and will double the DRC’s current tin exports.
“ABM intends to deliver on its commitment to develop the first industrial tin mine in North Kivu through significant capital investment, which will give ABM credibility locally and aboard, positioning it as a business transformation reference in the tin mining industry,” the company said in a statement.
It is anticipated that ABM will employ approximately 700 people during construction and will create approximately 450 permanent local jobs during operations. As a result, significant economic benefits are expected in an area of the DRC that has seen little foreign investment.
“Becoming a member of the CFSI provides a great opportunity to help inform downstream buyers of the reality on the ground to ensure market access,” said Richard Robinson, MD for ABM.
Boris Kamstra, CEO of Alphamin, said “we believe that a commercial mine at Bisie will be the manifestation of the objectives of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance and related responsible sourcing legislation, including the US Dodd Frank Act in promoting responsible supply chains.”
“The CFSI’s framework has helped to lay the foundation for the Bisie mine to move from potentially being a fundamental revenue generator for armed groups and others operating outside of the law, to a commercial operation that will stimulate the development of North Kivu’s economy, improve governance and safety and security and offer the citizens of North Kivu future prospects.”
“ABM is the first mining company to join the initiative”, said Leah Butler, programme director, CFSI. “Its participation will provide valuable insight into mining operations and challenges in the eastern DRC.”
The burden of proof falls primarily on ABM to prove the conflict-free status of its tin concentrate produced for smelting so that global smelters can confidently conduct due diligence.
Material that is not traceable to its source is unsaleable in the open market, since global smelters are under increasing pressure to provide independent validations of their practices to their customers.