ROB Still, the mining entrepreneur, and geologist Anton Esterhuizen, have been one of the African mining’s best double acts for years. Their latest incarnation is Alphamin Resources headed by colleague, Boris Kamstra. Alphamin’s purpose in life is the development of a tin resource in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) North Kivu district, once a haven for warlords, now a relatively peaceable outpost for one of the world’s best undeveloped tin deposits, Bisie. The $156m project is due to come on stream in 2018 just as the relatively shallow tin market runs into a supply deficit. The Industrial Development Corporation has pledged $10m to the project – its first in the DRC for years – but the balance of the funds are yet to be committed. Kamstra thinks funding will be no problem: roughly 44% of the company is backed by the UK’s Denham Capital Partners through subsidiary Tremont Holdings which recently agreed to support a $8.5m private placement. (Denham had earlier made $200m available to Still and Esterhuizen for new projects in Africa). Early project works are underway at Bisie but political risks are an unignorable factor: Joseph Kabila’s reluctance to accede to national elections is one; another was the detainment of the MD of Alphamin’s local subsidiary on suspicion of fraud – a groundless mix up soon resolved, but a reminder the DRC represents frontier mining.
LIFE OF BORIS
Kamstra has been knocking about the DRC for 12 years, but began his career as a civil engineer for Grinaker Concrete Construction where he became a director in 1999. He joined Rob Still’s Pangea Group working in its diamond and exploration divisions until taking up an interim role at Alphamin in mid-2015 that became permanent six months later. Kamstra is married with two children. His first job was as game ranger at luxury resort, Mala Mala.
“Whoever has this resource can dramatically affect the tin market.”
- Web Address: www.alphaminresources.com