Alphamin Resources has confirmed that it will develop the Mpama South deposit as part of its Bisie complex in the DR Congo.
Earlier this month, Alphamin announced a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its Mpama South tin deposit, located just 1km from its operations at Mpama North. More recent drilling work has now been incorporated into the MRE. Inferred Resources were increased by 75% to 3.42Mt at 2.45% Sn for 83,700 tonnes of contained tin. Indicated Resources were relatively unchanged, but now contain some 21,500 tonnes of tin within 0.85Mt of ore. The update has upgraded Mpama South from the 16th largest undeveloped tin project to the 10th.
Although conceptual in nature, the recent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the proposed mine – as well as the updated MRE – has seen Alphamin decide to go ahead with the development of Mpama South. The opportunity to take advantage of the current shortfall in tin concentrate supply, as well as the ability for the company to self-fund the project, were major factors in the decision.
Alphamin estimates that first production from Mpama South will be in December 2023, giving the project a 20 month development timeframe. While some time away, this is significantly faster than most mines, which can take around 10 years to reach production after a maiden MRE. At full capacity, the mine is forecast to produce some 7,232 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate annually.
Although Alphamin already produces some 4% of the world’s mined tin, the development of Mpama South will cement the company as one of the world’s largest producers. With combined production from Mpama North and South, the Bisie complex is estimated to produce some 20,000 tonnes of tin-in-concentrate annually from 2024. The rapid development of Mpama South will help to narrow the forecast deficits in the tin market over the next decade.