TSX-listed Alphamin Resources has announced the results of detailed design work and budget estimates for its 80.75% owned Bisie Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The work has resulted in an improvement in several operational parameters as well as an increase in proven and probable reserves to 4.67 Mt at 3.58% Sn (or 167,000 tonnes of tin)

The report explains that while the fundamental mining method has not changed, the layout and mine design parameters have improved since the updated feasibility study (UFS) published in June 2016. The increase in tin price has enabled a reduction in cut-off grade from 1.8% to 1.4%. This has enabled a 10% increase in mined tonnage and a 2.5-year increase in the life of the mine to 12.5 years. Because of these changes, the average annual production has changed to 9,642 tonnes, while the cash cost of production has risen 19% to US$8,837 per tonne of tin produced. The all-in capital cost has also increased to $151.4 M from $124.4 M. The report states that construction of the mine and associated infrastructure is targeted to take place prior to December 2018.

Alphamin CEO, Boris Kamstra, said: “The completion of the FEED and CBE phase marks another important and exciting milestone as Alphamin advances the Project towards becoming the first industrial mine in ’s North Kivu Province.

ITRI View: The Bisie project is globally competitive and significant both in terms of its high tin grades, low-operating costs and projected output. The project’s main barrier to development has always been the perceived investment risk in DR Congo, where the project is located. However, the company reports that it is taking positive steps to mitigate security risks, with an artisanal and small scale miner strategy currently being implemented so that ASM miners are able to work legally off the Alphamin concession.