Michael Demey, Regional Manager, BCDC

BCDC is the oldest bank operating in DRC and speaks to GBR about its activities with the mining sector.

BCDC was founded in 1909, and as such is the oldest bank in the DRC. How has the institution evolved and what role does it play in the mining sector?

With more than 100 years of experience in Congo, BCDC is a long-lasting and a robust institution that inspires respect in the DRC and beyond. Despite regulatory constraints and economic situations, we have strong fundamentals and the profitability of the last years prove it by.

Through our expertise, BCDC is the partner of all major players in the DRC including the biggest mining projects. BCDC has played a major role in the mining sector for decades. Through our vast network located in the mining area and even within some mining sites, we provide the different banking services needed: facilities for the working capital, payroll solutions, follow-up on transactions and regulations…

What are some of the key services BCDC offers and how would you describe your role in the mining industry? Continue reading

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Miles Naude, General Manager, MMG

GBR meets with MMG to discuss its operations in DRC and what needs to be done to improve the business environment.

Looking at the current situation in the DRC, what does MMG believe needs to happen for the country to recognize its full mineral potential?

We need more robust conversations on how to improve the business environment to get investors excited, specifically by discussing how to support the large industries by bringing in smaller industries. There are not many small industries currently active in the DRC; most of them are sitting across the border where there is a more conducive business environment. We need to support the capacity of smaller companies to supply consumables and other items into the mining sector to promote a healthier industry overall. It is not the job for the mining industry to do grassroots development of these industries, however, discussion needs to happen between the private sector and the government to change the regulatory framework to the benefit of all the different industries.

How does MMG approach its relationship with the government in the DRC and how can the private sector best assist in improving the conditions in DRC? Continue reading

Operating in Tanganyika Province

Manono is finding a new life as a mining town after years of neglect.

By Graeme Johnston, Project Manager, AVZ Minerals – Manono

When touching down on Manono’s dusty airstrip, a leisurely 90 minute flight north of the DRC’s second largest city Lubumbashi (a hove of frenetic copper and cobalt exploration activity at the moment) you might be forgiven for thinking that you had arrived in the land that time forgot. Driving out of the airport, past the UN camp and into the main part of Manono can be unnerving to those like myself who have not spent much time in the centre of Africa.  However, the incongruities of driving past various international aid outlets and NGO compounds into the wide, old fashioned Belgian mango tree lined boulevards with their elegant, but sadly, run down houses only serves to highlight the long history of colonial involvement in the country and its more recent turbulent past. Continue reading

Eric Kondo, Managing Partner, Mining Services and Consulting

Mining Service and Consulting, based in Abidjan, is growing apace with the influx of investments into mining in Cote d’Ivoire and expanding its services across the francophone region.

Could you provide a brief introduction to Mining Services and Consulting (MS&C) and your current clients?

Mining Services and Consulting provides legal and tax services for mining, exploration and service companies across West Africa. We are the sole one-stop-shop in these services for Cote d’Ivoire and, as far as I am aware, there is not another consulting firm regionally that offers such a breadth of assistance for mining companies. We also provide customs, accounting, financial and business management services, with a growing team of experts based in our main office in Abidjan. As managing partner, I am a lawyer specializing in mining and tax law, and have negotiated four mining conventions. As president of the legal, tax and custom commission of the Chamber of Mines, I worked with the Ministry of Industry and Mines to write the mining code to develop Cote d’Ivoire into a top mining investment destination.

What are your opinions on the government’s support to develop the mining sector in 2017, and what should the Ministry of Mines in Cote d’Ivoire’s strategy be for 2018? Continue reading

Alexander Zotov, Managing Partner, Eurasian Resources

Eurasian Resources speaks to GBR about its bauxite operations in Guinea.

Eurasian Resources first arrived in Guinea in 2010 and currently has preliminary offtake agreements for 5 million tonnes of bauxite. Can you provide a brief overview of the project’s history?

The project is divided into four stages. The first stage is the exploration. It was completed in 2012. 130,000 meters were drilled in accordance with the license that covered 2,000 square kilometers — the size of some small countries. The exploration was done under the supervision of SRK Consulting – the company with strong expertise in bauxite. It took two years to finalize the exploration, and once Eurasian Resources received the resource report, it became clear that the resources base consisted of 5 billion tonnes of bauxite with a grade of 40% and 2 billion tonnes with an average grade of 44% Al2O3 and 2% SiO2. The second stage is the initiation of a pre-feasibility study to begin the construction of an alumina plant. However, after two years of work, the Company decided to put the project on hold due to the alumina price drop that was considered to be a challenge to find funding for the refinery. The third stage is DSO and final stage is the infrastructure.

Given that your project is remotely located, how have you overcome challenges in infrastructure and logistics? Continue reading

John Kalala Kabamba, Managing Partner, J&R Cabinet d’advocats

GBR meets with Lubumbashi law firm J&R Cabinet d’avocats.

Can you please provide us with an overview of the firm’s history here in Lubumbashi?

The company’s name is J&R, which stands for our two founding partners, John and Raymond. We are both bar-certified lawyers of Lubumbashi, and we started practicing in 1990 after studying in the University of Lubumbashi as trainees in law firms. I personally began in the law firm of the master Mbuyou, who is today the advisor to the head of state. Raymond was a trainee in the law firm of Ntoto that was at that time president of the bar. In 1995, after our training, we decided to create our own law firm, beginning with a team of four people working in all sectors.

What is the importance of the mining industry to your practice as clients? Continue reading

Bernie Pryor, CEO, Alufer

MACIG Connect Series

Alufer is developing its new Bel Air bauxite project in Guinea and describes the company’s progress there.

Can you provide a brief company history of Alufer’s presence in Guinea and highlight its strategy going forward into 2018?

Alufer has been involved in exploring for bauxite in Guinea for over eight years. The company initially identified the Labé project, which is in the plateau hills in the north of the country and is a very large, high-quality bauxite deposit. This deposit is circa 350 km inland however, which is more economically challenging and so the company focused on finding a bauxite resource closer to the coast. Our exploration efforts led us to discover the Bel Air project which is 15 km from the sea and easily accessible from Conakry. Finding a new deposit which we could develop all the way from being a greenfield site through to production was a very exciting and unique situation for us.  We closed our construction financing for US$205 million at the end of last year with a consortium of large mining houses, and that money is being used to build the Bel Air mine. We are now halfway through the construction phase and first ore ship is scheduled for Q3 2018.

Amco Drilling removed their operations from Guinea because of the difficulties in the business environment. What risks do your investors see in the Guinean market? Continue reading